When Do You Pick Apples?
Earlier in the summer I was bragging about the number of apples growing on one of my trees. Since it has been planted there has been a steady growth of the amount of fruit. You will notice in the picture that I have several limbs bowing over to touch the ground. They are heavily laden with apples. More apples that they can handle!
Now, I am not an tree specialist, nor do I know much about caring for apple trees – let alone all the other fruit trees I would like to own. One thing I am sure of, there were some things I missed along the way in caring for this tree to prepare it for production!
One friend had her apple trees groomed every spring, or fall, I don’t remember. Limbs were trimmed so that the fruit grew in a specific pattern. Seems like she also sprayed the trees for the various worms that can contaminate the fruit.
Mine have not had such a treatment. In fact, I’m not even sure what kind of apples this tree is producing!
Regardless, I am now stuck with a tree that is producing prodigiously and the branches are slowly arching to the ground from the weight.
I do not know what to do!Here’s the Chicken Little nervous response…
- Do I sacrifice some of the fruit so that others would survive? This would make sense. I know that this is the normal way of growing some crops like corn. You plant, and then pluck away at some point the plants that will crowd out others, all for the sake of production.
- Perhaps now would be the time to put some boards under the branches to take bear some of the weight, and hopefully salvage the growing season?
- Perhaps I should simply leave it alone and let nature, or fate, deal with my lack of knowledge!
- I know, lets go on vacation and see what the results are when we have returned…
We do not know what to do!
If we are not careful we will convert from the nervousness of Chicken Little and become like the proverbial Ostrich. If we are not careful we will be like that person who keeps clicking on different options on their slow computer, hoping to chose the right thing that needs to be done, and all the time the slow running computer is just storing up every click option! Surprise! Everything we tried to do all of a sudden is getting done before our eyes. Only, it’s not what we want to do now!
Someone tweeted a thought this morning that got me to thinking about our nature. We are at times so very patient, and then at other times so inpatient!
King Saul waited on the prophet Samuel for seven days. For these seven days I can almost imagine the King getting more and more pressured to act. War was massing around him. The people were scared and were scattering. Finally, Saul took things into his own hands and offered the burnt offering for peace. Even when he knew it was not his job to do, he acted anyway!
Immediately on completing his actions, the prophet Samuel showed up! Isn’t this just like it always happens? The proper solution arrives just as soon as we have taken action on our own!Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the LORD.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.”
How do you deal with pressure to perform? Sometimes the pressure cooker of life is gathering steam and if we don’t do anything we feel like we will explode!And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:11-14 NKJV)
What was the Lord looking for? “A man after His own heart.” What does this mean? I think the key is found in the first words of response from Samuel,“You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God.”
Could the solution of life be as simple as keeping His commandments, even in the face of despair and public pressure? Could it be steadily holding the course even when the storm clouds of war and destruction are amassing? Why do we feel like we have to act, even when it’s the wrong action to take?
Perhaps this is the foundation of everything!
- To the one who came and asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life? Response? “Keep my commandments.” (Matt. 19:17)
- To the disciple Philip who asked for evidence of the Father, Jesus replies, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
- At the last supper, after Judas had left to betray him, Jesus says, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35 KJV)
Timing is everything.
When all the world is clamoring, and the braces of life are failing, simply keeping God’s commandments and he will surely show up right on time!
He’s an on time God, yes he is
He’s on on time God, yes he is
He may not come when you want him
But he’ll be there right on time
I’ll tell you, He’s an on time God, yes he is