Can You Count Your Apple Seeds?
“Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.”
Robert H. Schuller
Is that not a brain thinking statement? It makes me literally stop and think, I have to visualize the apple and its core loaded with seeds, then visualize each seed being planted and growing into a full, vibrant and fruitful tree. How many seeds are in the apple? How many apples would each tree grow? I have no idea, but if all the seeds in the apple you are eating grow into a tree, there will be a magnificent crop of apples to be had.
The potential is there for longevity, isn’t it? The apple line could go on and on depending on just one apple and one seed. What seeds have I been planting lately?
If we think through the apples/seeds statement and place it into our lives, what would it look like?
It could look like the times where you help out a stranger on the side of the road. You have no idea how they might pay forward your random act of kindness. You have no idea how many people could be helped because you chose to stop and help someone in need.
I stopped a couple months ago when I saw a small tent put up beside the highway and it was really pouring down rain. There was a bicycle parked beside it. I had noticed it when I went by into town and thought, “no”, no one could be living in there. On the way back, I had to stop and make sure.
I walked up to the tent, it had had a little tarp over it but it had been tossed by the wind so I could see right inside. I saw a bundle of blankets in a pile but no sign of life I said, “Hello.”
Up popped a head out of the blankets complete with a hard hat on, “I’m okay, I’m okay,” the voice said.
I realized the hard hat was for the rain protection. I walked over to the zippered door as he unzipped it to stick his head out. I saw a little candle burning on some foil and realized this was his heat, he must have been hunched over it under the covers and the rain continued to beat down.
I had bought 2 teas that day, not sure why because I do not usually do that, but I had, and I offered him one. He graciously accepted it.
We chatted for a few minutes and then I drove away and bawled like a baby. How was I the lucky one to have a warm home to go to, food to eat and a roof over my head? He was sleeping in a tent complete with 2 inches of water in the bottom of it, wet blankets, wet clothes – wet everything. I called Brian and told him about this fellow, he said, “Turn around and go back to town, buy the guy some dry stuff.” What a gracious heart has my husband.
I went back and bought some various items, some dry things and included a large tarp to cover the tent, and took them to the fellow, he was most grateful. He had just about bailed all the water out of the bottom of the tent when I returned. He had no idea I was coming back. Later, I would see him now and again, in different places along the highway or in town itself, always biking and always in a tent. I would always stop and say hi, offering some food or some item. Then one day he disappeared, and I have not seen him since. I still look for him each time I go by and I have added him to my prayer list.
I have no idea the ramifications of helping him, but I pray that it has a huge impact on him and others.
One of the others that I think it impacted was the fellow who helped me in Walmart. I had asked where the tarps were located and he showed me. I told him about this fellow beside the road and he and I brain stormed together to come up with the items I bought. His comment has stuck with me for months. He said, "I sure hope that if I ever have to live in a tent, you are the kind of lady that comes to help me."
Here is where I get stuck... wouldn't lots of people stop to help? It was the right thing to do. What made it so unusual to that young man that I was offering to help another person in need? I pray a good seed was planted in his heart that day and he has gone on to help others as well.
It does not have to be stopping on the side of the road, it could look like so many things that we take for granted: teaching a child to be kind to others, or to play some music and sing, to be a great friend to others, pay for someone elses coffee, lunch or even grocery purchase. You have no idea how big the ripple affect theses actions could be as they carry it forward.
As I was trying to drift off into sleep last night I thought about this apple seed concept in the reverse.
Laying in bed, almost drifting off we seemed to keep getting attacked by mosquitoes. A very huge lot of mosquitoes! You know that irritating little whine that hums into your ear and makes your whole body jump into action. Hands flying, body shaking as you attempt to swat and swipe aimlessly and recklessly into the air, hoping against hope that you got that little blood sucker before she gets you!
There were times where all I saw was the little winged target and if it landed on Brian, I usually, and I say usually, had to draw back and not hit so hard. A couple times the panic of the situation got to me and the poor guy yelled, “Ouch!” But I made sure I wrecked the mosquitoes chance of ever having a ripple affect.
It was at some of those times where I would wonder…. How many mosquitoes have I kept from hatching just by killing this one? I was hoping for thousands! I was not hoping for longevity for these guys. That was when it hit me, this was the apple seed question in reverse, instead of how many could be planted, how many could be wiped out!
I have a list of questions for God, I mean really, when I meet Him I really do have some questions and one of them is about mosquitoes! Why…..???? Like why did He create them? I know, they feed the birds, but seriously could they not be bird food without biting me and other people? They are atmosphere wreckers! We finally get good weather and then the blood suckers come out to spoil the fun.
Anyways, I digress, after about half an hour and the deluge of ear whining was not diminishing, and trust me, neither was our complaining, we could not figure out where these mosquitoes were coming from. We lost count of how many we had killed.
Brian got up and looked at his window beside the bed. Low and behold, his window unlike mine, was missing a screen! Those little things had a wide-open invitation into our bedroom and they were making good use of it. It was like mosquito highway with a one way road straight in.
I guess the ripple effect was us scratching, itching and swinging wildly in the air for a long period time before precious sleep finally overtook us.
The more I analyse it, there is a ripple affect to everything we do….. good and bad.