Today I read this quote by Jimmy Carter and it really caught my attention,
"Go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is."
When I was growing up we lived in a home resting on over an acre of land. We had horses, and lush green grass, and several apple and peach trees. I remember helping my mom pick the fruit and gently place them in organic brown shopping bags. I can still smell the subtle sweetness of ripe peaches as my mom peeled them to make pies, and ice-cream. But what is most memorable to me is that night, when my mom would spend an hour rubbing anti-biotic cream all over the scrapes and scratches I racked up from the branches. But I never once regretted harvesting those beautiful fruits, and viewed the scrapes as more of an earning statement than an injury. Instead of simply picking up the fruit that had already fallen, which would have been easier, we took the time to climb within the tree's branches and find those that had reached their natural prime. Carter is reminding us that very few things worthwhile or rewarding in life come easily, and they are even more rarely just settled on the side of the road waiting for us. If we want something truly extraordinary, we've got to depart from our "normal" and find it.