You know how they say “love where you live”? Well, I really do. Our home-sweet-home is in a unique valley where all four seasons are embraced along with lake living and world-class skiing on our mountains—plus, it’s wine country. Serious wine country, as in 185 licensed wineries, many boasting award-winning vintages. Therefore, the recently released Chasing Vines book caught my eye and I’ve learned that one can deep dive into the whole wine world and discover so much not only about grapes and soil and vineyards, but also about life…
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Whether or not you choose to partake of the fruit of the vine, the Scriptures are ripe with references to vineyards, grapes, wine, fruit, and the like. For a romantic like me, I adore the notion of a picnic in a Tuscan vineyard or a glass of white on a Paris rooftop—but I’m also fascinated with Jesus being the True Vine and spiritual pruning and the vineyards of the Old Testament.
When I saw Beth Moore had a new book called Chasing Vines, I was intrigued.
Knowing she would take me on a theological adventure in the vineyards, I snagged a copy and started reading it. About halfway through, I stopped.
It was so rich, so wise, so hilarious, so down-to-earth yet with eternal perspective—I went back and read a chapter a day in order for it to marinade. I took notes in my journal hoping some of it might stick. Truly, writing it down is the only way I remember anything these days. Also, I am now craving Italy.
With engaging chapters on everything from Place, Pruning, and Pestilence to Soil, Song, and Manure, Beth takes us from her humble tomato plants in the US to the picturesque vineyards of Italy on a quest to explore God’s Word and how we were created to flourish in Christ, wherever we are.
“We live our lives looking for home. We crave a sense of place.” Beth Moore
I learned from Beth about “terroir”, which means “a sense of place”. Apparently, terroir is everything when it comes to growing grapes; climate, soil, the actual plant, and even its orientation toward the sun. It’s a tricky business.
We emigrated from the UK to this glorious wine country 25 years ago. Honestly, it’s only been the past little while that we’ve come to appreciate the vineyards with their specific soils and climate and how miraculous the grape growing and winemaking process truly is.
That sense of place is vital in order for the vines to bear good fruit.
And so I wonder about us… how we struggle to find our terroir, to decide where on earth we actually belong, where we fit in, where we can sink our roots down deep in order to grow.
Isn’t that quote sweet relief? We don’t have to spend our lives aimlessly roaming the globe or looking for love or trying to fit snugly into a sparkly Cinderella shoe in pursuit of that sense of place.
Jesus, our True Vine, is our terroir.
We get to abide in Him by spending time with Him in the Word and in prayer. Ann Voskamp puts it so well: “To abide in Christ which means nothing less than to reside fully in Christ: Jesus is our person, Jesus is our home, Jesus is our primary residence…”
That we might grow and bear fruit for His glory:
“When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.” John 15:5 (MSG)
How wondrous to think that God Himself longs for us to find our sense of place in Him.
That as the Vinedresser, He has been chasing after us all along.
Calling us His and calling us home…
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P.P.S. Don’t forget to grab a copy of Beth Moore’s Chasing Vines!
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