It is almost the end of autumn here in Europe. The trees have practically shed their leaves. It is a wonderful scene. At times one feels as if the forest is on fire because the leaves slowly turn from green to light red and then fully yellow before falling off the trees. Despite Austria being a small country, its vast expanse is covered with lovely forests, which many people use for their long walks.
During one such walk, observing the trees and reflecting on God’s magnificent creation, a couplet from Kabirdas learnt in school flashed through my mind: “Karta raha so kyo raha, ab kari kyo pachhataye; Boye beej babul ka, so amua kaha se paaye”, meaning: “Why were you doing what you were doing, now what use is it of regretting; if you sowed an acacia seed, how do you expect to get mangoes”? And was Kabirdas not absolutely right?
Much before Kabir though, Jesus Christ, while warning the people — beware of people who make dishonest promises — once said to his listeners, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit… So then, you will know them by their fruits”.
The trees in the forest stand as God planned them and each serves its own purpose. They produce different fruits according to their inbuilt nature. Not all fruits are good for human consumption. We need to be aware and cautious of them.
Similarly God has created us human beings to worship Him, to care for nature and to live in peace with all by cooperating with one another. The Bible says, “God created man in His own image. Male and female. He created them,” and “God is Love”. One wonders then, as to how evil came into this world.
Christian theology teaches that God also gifted human beings with absolute freedom. Humans, however, misused that freedom and due to selfishness went against God’s plan. That brought evil in the world and gave birth to what Jesus describes as false prophets. Jesus compares them simply with bad trees producing bad fruits.
Though we know and see who those people are who produce bad fruits, what we need to ask ourselves really is, “What kind of fruits do I and my actions produce? Are they in keeping with God’s plan? Am I planting the right trees that will bring forth good fruits? Can I even wake up now to recognise God’s plan for my life? And finally, am I living in peace with nature, others and myself?”...