1 Cor. 15:8-10 (NLT)
Last of all, I saw him [Jesus], too, long after the others, as though I
had been born at the wrong time.  For I am the least of all the
apostles, and I am not worthy to be called an apostle after the way I
persecuted the church of God.
 But whatever I am now, it is all because God
poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have
worked harder than all the other apostles, yet it was not I but God who
was working through me by his grace.
You can learn a lot from peppers!
My recent experiment in pepper gardening keeps
teaching me lessons (see Too Many To
Count). The latest lesson is that "it is never too
late in time" and sometimes in nature "late" can produce more.
My pepper garden has four different kinds of peppers,
tabasco, jalapeño, red chili, and habanera (hot!). All but the red chili
pepper began to bear fruit in short time. Not much, but my labor
was not a complete bust except for the red chili. Because the red
chili did not bear any peppers the first time around, I considered it
genetically defective and began figuring out a way to uproot the plant,
toss it and plant another jalapeño plant. At lease I knew the
jalapeño would grow. Don't want to make the same mistake, twice,
with another red chili plant. Sloth and perseverance in watering
the plants brought signs of new hope for the red chili...it finally
flowered the second time around, meaning the possibility of some
And then the miracle happened. Many more tiny
blossoms, and, the plant began to grow...one half, twice, three times
the size of the other pepper plants. And, even more little baby
peppers than all the other plants combined. It was as if, late in
time and facing the possibility of being uprooted and tossed into the
dumpster, the red chili plant took on a new and fruitful life that
exceeded the other ordinary pepper plants.
Like so many of us who have faced the possibility of
our own eminent extinction, we discover the true meaning of life, "late
in time." Because of the grace of God, our eternal gardener does
not uproot us from this life and toss us into the eternal dumpster of
death before it is too late to bear some spiritual fruit. We are
given another chance to find true meaning in this life, a little older,
wiser and later...but not too late. Thank God it is never too late see
things and be things, differently. Amen.
often than not, late in time, for those of us who have faced the
possibility of our own mortality, we will produce more fruit than
your average pepper plant.
Matthew 20:13-16 (NLT)
"He answered one of them, 'Friend, I haven't been unfair! Didn't you
agree to work all day for the usual wage?  Take it and go. I wanted
to pay this last worker the same as you.  Is it against the law for
me to do what I want with my money? Should you be angry because I am
 "And so it is, that many who are first now will be
last then; and those who are last now will be first then."
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