Do you see it? That apple up there. The one taunting me, hanging high out of reach, looking all shinny and red?
Well, sure, I have a full tree of apples, but THAT one looks amazing. I am pretty sure it is bigger than the ones on the branches within reach. And it looks like it is more red, too. I have shaken the tree repeatedly, but that darn apple refuses to fall.
Life is like that, isn't it. We are surrounded by good things, apples with in reach, but what we REALLY want is that apple up on top. I guess it is a classic case of "the grass is always greener". The truth is I already have more apples than I know what to do with. They have made me yummy pie and apple butter and crisp. I don't need that one. It would do me know good to wish for that apple and ignore the ones I have.
Sometimes life is a balance between contentment and striving. You don't want to be shaking the tree so hard that you bruise all the apples within your reach but you don't want to quit dreaming either. I want to enjoy where my children are now, but I still long for a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
There was another apple, like the one in the picture, all big and red and shiny. I shook the tree and and came flying down. Only to discover a squirrel had gotten to the apple before I had and enjoyed half of it. I couldn't see that from the ground, I could only see the uneaten part. I guess all apples that hang out at the top of the tree are not worth the lusting after.
And then there is the NEIGHBORS tree. Smaller, with apples easily reached. I watch from my upstairs window as the apples grow bigger, start to blush, then bloom to a full red...and fall to the ground to be eaten by bugs. She doesn't pick the apples, or even care that they are growing! If God had given me that tree, think of all the good I could do! Apple tarts, apple jam, pies for everyone? Yet she just wastes them!
That is not my tree, those are not my apples or my responsibility. God calls me to do my best with what he has given ME. Not the things that are going to happen someday, like the apple at the top of the tree. Not the bounty he gave my neighbor. My current blessings should be my focus, and how I use them to His glory.
Some of the apples within my reach are small, a little bit green, with a hole or two where a bug had his lunch but I am grateful and I am blessed. While my heart sometimes longs for bushels of perfect red apples, I will keep my energy and heart focused on those in my own basket.
****extra credit given to those who noticed the literary reference in the title******