I am not a wine drinker.
I’ve tried, I really have. My wife loves wine, and openly wishes I did too, to enjoy a glass with her. Therefore, I’ve been through elaborate tastings, participated in “wine-of-the-month” clubs, engaged “wino” friends about their interest and passion, and always take a sip of my bride’s wine at dinner – just to see if my palate has changed.
I just never have been able to get excited about having a glass of wine, of any kind.
That being said, I am intrigued, somewhat fascinated by the process of wine-making, and the beauty of the diversity in wine. As this chart illustrates, there are over 200 different types of wine that all originate from the simple grapevine.
Original Source: Different Types of Wine
Fruity, Oaky, Woody, Smoky, Sweet, Sour, Red, White, Rose, Dark, Light, Robust, Full, Dry, Smooth, Hollow, Big, Spicy, Rich,…
All of these terms, and more, are often used to describe the vast array of wine personality, style, character and flavor. And all of this has me thinking about people, and their personality, style, character and flavor…
Just as all of these beautifully different and diverse wines originate from the same vine, so too do we as people – beautifully different and diverse – originate from the same Vine (John 15:5).
If I were a wine, I could be described as “Bold” or “Rich” – big, full-bodied, balanced, complex, and intense. I’d be a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Someone told me lovingly recently that “You just don’t do shallow or surface. You only know how to do deep and intense.”
They are right. My personality is focused and strong. I think hard and deeply. I am Type-A and perfectionistic. I am competitive and disciplined. I love intentionally and thoroughly. I invest in people and causes with an “all-in” demeanor. In sports terms, I am a “dirt-bag” and “gym-rat,” and my uniform is always dirty. I am passionate and complex. I bleed easy and often. I am open and transparent. I am a man of conviction. I am real.
This is who the Vine made me to be. Properly lived out on that Vine the aroma of my fruit is indeed Bold.
I just don’t do shallow or surface well. That is not the Life within me. I would not be a “Light” or “Soft” wine – a Pinot Noir I am not.
I started this crazy blogging thing several months ago as an act of obedience to Father. One of the elements of this is that I am called to share into the internet, for whomever’s eyes He directs to see, my journey into the deeper Life of Jesus – what I am tasting and seeing and hearing and feeling and learning and living of Him.
When Jesus told the parable of placing wine in wineskins in the Gospels, He was illustrating how His Kingdom Life had done away with the “old” and could not be contained in that old context (wineskin). He is the fulfillment of the “new” Life. He desires to continue to make those new that He inhabits – stretching and growing them as His Life ferments inside them. It is this Life, and He who came to give It, that is the “Wine” that I am tasting, and then sharing with whomever chooses to read.
By nature of the kind of “wine” that I am, and the “Wine” that I am drinking and sharing – the words I use to express this combustion of elements will often be…Bold – big, full-bodied, balanced, complex, and intense.
As with wine, you may not like the “aroma” and “flavor” of all of my words.
You may want to evaluate their “legs.”
You may feel a need to swirl them around and let them “breathe.”
You are free to debate their “color” and “body.”
You might sip them slowly, setting them down and perhaps returning later for another taste.
You might chug them down, refill another glass and find yourself plum drunk on them.
Or, you might pour the entire thing down the drain and smash the bottle.
All of this is ok.
I’ve observed from wine enthusiasts that though they each have their distinct preferences in wine, and express those preferences from different personality platforms – they seem to also do so with an overarching respect for the vine – as well as the varying fruits of that vine. There is healthy debate, discussion, opinion sharing and conversation – tethered by the common passion for the vine – and its community.
Hearts too, are expressed with words from different personality platforms. From a Kingdom perspective, these would be shared and received with an overarching respect for the Vine – as well as the varying fruits of that Vine. There would be healthy debate, discussion, opinion sharing and conversation – tethered by the common passion for the Vine – and His Family.
My flesh desperately wants to be liked by everyone. That includes my readers here. If my flesh had its way, the wine I share in the form of words would be continually “watered-down” to a common denominator, a middle-of-the-road narrative that would ultimately keep the majority of readers “liking” the content – while sadly imparting zero Life.
That is not ok.
As a writer, sometimes the words that are beating in my heart feel like being under water – until they come out – giving me precious air. They. Must. Come. Out.
If I don’t write them exactly how I hear them in my heart, and from the truest place on the Vine that I am, then I shouldn’t write them at all. And to water them down to meet the masses in the middle would be as distasteful as watering down your favorite glass of vino. Whether you liked bold wine or soft, sweet or spicy, oaky or smooth – you wouldn’t drink any of it watered down. Nor should you.
So hear my heart, friends. I can’t promise that you are always going to like what I write. I can’t promise that it will fit your palate now, or ever. It is not in my control, nor in my intention to cater or “ferment” my wine as words so as to sit on all of your tongues and ears well, all of the time. The Vine deserves more than that. I deserve more than that. You deserve more than that. I owe you the Boldest and Richest wine I can produce, because that is who I am. That is Who lives in me, and that is how He prepares His Wine for me to taste – and share.
I must write boldly, with conviction, even at the risk of offending a few sometimes – if only to give vocabulary to even a few others who have feelings in their hearts that need a voice. I must write boldly about questions I am asking – about certain things that have for too long been things we “just don’t question” – and the answers I am getting – if only so that those who are also carrying around those questions in their minds and hearts, if not their mouths – can find a way to also ask and seek and knock. I must write boldly about walls that I am pressing up against – to see if they are real, to see if they’ll fall down, or to to see if there were ever any walls in the first place – if only so that those who feel boxed in and trapped can also find a way out.
I must write boldly, to share this Wine in my heart and these words in my chest – if only so that they don’t die on the Vine while staying inside of me – without ever being written and bearing any Fruit.
If it’s alright with you, I’m gonna keep on drinking and writing the way I was created to. This Wine and these words will often be bold, convicting, challenging, complex, and outside of the box. It’s alright with me if you: Agree with them and apply them. Disagree and reject them. Discuss them. Debate them. Comment on them. Challenge me in return on them. Let them sit on your tongue and see how they taste.
Let it breathe. Swirl it around and examine it. Sip it. Get drunk on it. Throw it out. It’s all ok.
There’s more Boldness where that came from…