A Noteworthy Life

Inside this decade, a new definition and connotation for the word “notes” has been introduced into mainstream culture. It is no longer just about music or writing short messages. Notes are now also the description of the taste and smell of an organic substance. The idea behind this new term does call back to music in that as several notes work together in unity to make up a certain chord, aromas or tastes come together to give a substance a distinct and unique flavor.

The word “notes” in this context is used in wines and coffees, but also in chocolates, honeys, and teas. But not surprisingly, other consumer items are beginning to jump on the bandwagon such as liquid soaps, for example. At our house, I found some coffee and one of my wife’s soaps. Here are some actual examples of the notes listed on the labels:

Soap: seaside citrus, jasmine water, amber musk, summer fig, driftwood.

Coffee 1: tamarind, butterscotch, raspberry

Coffee 2: mango, pineapple, fruit punch

(Side “note”: Because coffee is derived from a plant that produces a stone fruit like a cherry, the seeds are like beans, hence the name. Often people don’t realize true fresh coffee has a fruity taste. Its all about the roasting process as to how much of the actual flavor is preserved, as well as the distance between roasting and drinking. Next time you’re in a real coffee shop that makes a “pour-over,” get one to taste this difference. You can thank me later.)

Here’s the point: Galatians 5 tells us the fruit that the Holy Spirit creates in us over time and experience, coupled with the key ingredient: spiritual maturity. These then create fruit, or for this conversation, notes, in our lives. Now, when you walk by a fruit tree, say an apple tree or an orange tree, you have never and will never see the tree eating its own fruit. The tree produces fruit because 1-that is what it does by virtue of its very identity, and 2-the fruit is made not to sustain the tree, but for others to enjoy and be fed.

While certainly if we are people who exhibit and exude the fruit of the Spirit, our lives will be blessed, we are not given love, joy, peace, and so on for us to eat of it, nor for people to admire our fruit-making ability, but simply to point back to the fruit Creator. Christ produces peace in your life, so others want to be around your peaceful life, and then they see where the peace comes from.

Just like the orange tree doesn’t actually produce the fruit but just gets to give birth to it, we cannot possibly make our own spiritual fruit either. Whether oranges and apples or joy and gentleness, God is the Creator.

So, back to this concept of the combination of notes for the description of flavor and aroma—what might be the “notes” that are listed on the label of your life? Gentleness, patience with a hint of goodness? Jealousy, selfish ambition, with a touch of rage? Lust, anger, and complaining? Wisdom, integrity, and faithfulness? But just like a coffee cannot write its own notes, rather only the one who drinks from it, we cannot describe what others taste from our lives.

But when you follow your own wrong inclinations, your lives will produce these evil results: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure,  idolatry, spiritism (that is, encouraging the activity of demons), hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group—and there will be wrong doctrine, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to his cross and crucified them there.  If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. —Galatians 5:19-25 TLB


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