As I was preparing apples for a dessert the other day I couldn’t help but think of some similarities–
1. Sometimes the skin is spotted or dented in a place or two, but underneath there is still firm flesh that is healthy. Sometimes people may have a scar or a physical defect that doesn’t look very pretty, but that doesn’t give any indication of who they are inside.
2. Every apple has a core. An annoying core that needs to be cut out and worked at and sheds all kinds of brown dots on the clean apple as you’re are working on it. Aaah…we humans are a bit like that, aren’t we? Our evil hearts full of sin (Jeremiah 17:9) need to be changed and transformed and the process is often messy, leaving “dots” of consequences all over us and often over others.
3. A good apple is firm and crisp. Have you ever bit into an apple that was sandy or mushy? Yuck! Perhaps people who are mushy and inconsistent can be a bit like that. It reminds me a little bit of that passage in Revelation (3:15-17). “These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,[g] I will vomit you out of My mouth.” We need to be firm, passionate, and consistent in what we believe and in our actions, instead of being tossed to and fro by every doubt, as James talks about in chapter 1.
4. The seed within the apple is what brings about more apples. We each have seeds to plant that will grow into fruit. The question is what kind of seeds are we planting? For example, almost every personality trait is a double-edged sword, is it not? Depending on the situation, a person can be firm and respected or domineering and arrogant. Perhaps they are instead insecure and wishy-washy or merciful and sweet. You see, all of us have the tendency to take the way God made us and use it for good or for evil. May we desire to spread seeds of Truth and goodness and kindness all around us, no matter what our personality.
5. And one last thing. I decided to go with a variety of apple that was unfamiliar to me for this dessert. The sign said it was good for baking, so I thought, “why not?” And you know what? The sign was right! It really was a very good apple for baking and the apples are really good for snacking, too. Sometimes I get into such a rut of buying the same type of apples…Galas and Yellow Delicious, mostly…that I forget there are literally hundreds of other varieties. Sometimes we may do the same when choosing who to have as a friend or even to work with on a team or committee. We choose the varieties of people we are most comfortable around, whether it be an age thing or a personality thing. But sometimes going out of our comfort zone and having a real conversation with someone who makes us a little nervous or uncomfortable can yield great reward. Instead of locking ourselves into the same circle of friends all the time, let’s be adventurous and try some different “varieties” once in awhile!