It was late Sunday evening when I decided to tackle the fresh pineapple sitting on the kitchen counter top. It had been sitting there for nearly a week while I avoided what I considered a difficult job while telling myself it needed to ripen. But it looked ripe and ready.
I find the rind of fresh pineapple very difficult to peel away, so I am adverse to tackling the job without some self-argument about doing so – an argument I eventually lose! But this time, I found something of value about which to write. A metaphor for life, business, growth and maturity important for Christian women. Especially important for Christian women who own a business!
The Core of the Story. . .
Let me set the stage. . .
First I cut off the crown of the pineapple and began cutting it into rings before tackling the hard outer rind. Once the rind was removed, I began to cut the rings of fruit into bite-sized pieces. It was then I noticed something of value in the ‘heart’ of that luscious fruit.
There, in the middle of each slice was a hard inner core that wasn’t as soft and luscious as the outer edges. Soft luscious edges that easily carved into pieces we normally associate with canned pineapple chunks. For the most part, the chunks easily separated from the tough core without much effort.
The core was a different story. It wasn’t soft and pliable. It was not a desirable portion of the fruit found along with the canned chunks in the store. I quickly discarded it with the rind headed for the disposal. But not before taking note of the life metaphor represented by the pineapple as a whole; but especially the core of the fruit!
At the Core of Christian Women. . .
Over the 36 years of walking with the Lord, I’ve learned that PAPA God wants His children to develop a tough inner core that can withstand the elements of time and testing. A tough center bound up with Him, His Son and the Holy Spirit. It’s that tough ‘core’ at the heart of our being that will keep us holding fast to Him when times are beyond tough. It’s the tough-minded woman who will persevere no matter what comes our way.
Yet it’s the soft luscious outer ‘fruit’ that deals with the circumstances of life in ways that draw others to ask us “how do you do that”? Our “tender-heart” linked inextricably with a “tough mind” that forms who we are as Christian women. The longer we walk with Him and follow His lead, the stronger we become at the core of our being.
A mind of steel beneath a heart of gold! A combination nearly impossible to breach and certainly not one that withers with the slightest provocation!
What’s It Have To Do With Business?
I read your mind! What’s the metaphor of the pineapple have to do with business. I get the connection between the core of a pineapple and the tough inner core of maturing Christian women. But what’s it have to do with her and the business she pursues. . . or dreams of pursuing?
Business is tough. It’s competitive. It can be, as the old saying goes, a “dog eat dog world!” Folks may seek to cheat us. They may lie to us about the value and benefit of their products or services. They may gossip behind our backs seeking to tarnish reputations and turn business away. And when we gain a level of success; the green-eyed monster called jealousy will rear its ugly head and seek to block us moving forward.
And if we think that Christians in the marketplace are any different – think again. All too often I, and friends I know, have been done in by those who love to shout how “Christian” they are; while their actions are anything but Christian! It’s why many folks run in the opposite direction when a woman of faith is introduced as a “Christian business woman”. You and I may be as honest as the day is long; but if the other person’s experience is anything but that, we may not even get the introduction. We certainly won’t get the business unless a trusted person makes the introduction, leaving out the qualifier “Christian business woman“!
The Metaphor of the Pineapple and Me!
The metaphor of the pineapple is just one example of how PAPA God reveals who we must become as His women in life – and business. It’s a simple act of paying attention and making a spiritual connection between one of His creations and another!
PAPA God has put metaphors, analogies and parables all through His creation. It’s up to us to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten our mind and quicken our spirit so we make the connection that alerts us to who He expects us to become as we mature in our Christian lives.
As for the metaphor of the pineapple and me; the lesson is to permit Him to toughen our minds and strengthen our faith while permitting him to soften our outer edges. A soft outer appearance that draws others into our world. Others who not only become consumers of our business wares – but begin their own journey of growth because we are tough enough at our center to embrace all He permits, while they watch and marvel at the grace with which we do so!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Enriching Women in Business Worldwide
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