Lenten Reflection – Fruits of the Spirit

Pa’s Fruit of the Spirit Meditation Plan

My father, Henry Nord (1912-1995, Mennonite Brethren roots, Christian Missionary Alliance member, machinist, small saw mill partner, and college custodian) came up with this meditation plan in his ’70’s and more amazingly, followed it for quite a few years.  He took a word from the list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galations 5:22: love, joy, peace, patience (longsuffering*), kindness, generosity (goodness), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness), self-control (temperence), as a word to bring his mind back to each day.  He lauded his method as simple to do under varying circumstances and helpful whether the recall was a meditative prayer or just the word amidst daily busyness.

To keep the process going he would write the 9 words repeatedly in order in his pocket calendar at the beginning of each month.  That way he could focus on the word itself and wherever his thoughts then led him and not on remembering what he had done–or not done–yesterday.  And he would not skip the, at least superficially, more challenging fruit like patience.

*The words in parenthesis are the perhaps more challenging words of King James Version he probably used.  I think he would have said longsuffering meant patience and temperance meant balanced self-control and then thought about the connection between the words in different translations.

Today I invite you to meditate on one of the ‘fruits of the spirit’ as my father did many years ago.

Submitted by Maxine Nord