Seeds of Potential

WP_20150927_001Did you know that apples are not native to the US? They were introduced to North America in the 17th century by European colonists and their descendents.  My daughter lives in Leominster, MA -the birthplace of John Chapman the folk hero known as Johnny Appleseed.  It’s a really big deal. They have a Johnny Appleseed Festival in town every year. Most stories about the American folk hero are more fiction than fact. He really did plant apple orchards as far as the Midwest. He also never married, lived a very simple life and shared the message of God’s love to everyone including native Indian tribes.

An apple tree takes eight years of growing before it will bear any fruit. That’s a long time to wait while tending, watering and protecting the sapling before it produces anything. Then each year that tree will yield a varying amount of apples for many years to come.  How many apples in its lifetime?

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I keep a sign in my kitchen over the door frame and it reads:  “Anyone can count the seeds in an apple but only God can count the apples in a seed.”  Each seed has potential for life and growth and an abundant harvest. Each apple has the potential to be used in a lot of ways….eating, baking pies, muffins, pastries, making cider, applesauce, decorating and the list goes on.

The word potential means, “ having latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness”.   Synonyms for potential are possibilities, prospects, promise, capability and capacity.

The Bible tells us that most of the twelve disciples were hard working but uneducated men.  They were trying hard to understand and follow Jesus’teaching but questioned how they could possibly do what He asked.         5  The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.         Luke 17:5-6 (ESV)

Since we don’t have any mustard trees in New England, can I use the term “apple seeds of faith”?  Is your faith as small as an apple seed? When you go apple picking this season, take joy in His creation all around you.  I hope you know that God has a purpose and a plan for each of our lives. Every person has potential and so does each day. We need to find our gifts and abilities to develop and use them by reading the Bible – God’s manual and praying – or talking to the Master Gardener.   Every day we are given new opportunities and choices.  Just think of all the possibilities!           apple pie

Change or growth doesn’t happen overnight, nor can it usually be seen….just like the sapling. Sometimes we don’t see any “fruit” or results. That’s okay. Ask God to show you the potential within and take a small step forward even with “faith like an apple seed”.

 I AM A PROMISE
  I am a promise, I am a possibility
I am a promise, with a capital “P”
I am a great big bundle of potentiality.
And I am learning, to hear God’s voice
And I am trying to make the right choices,
          I’m a promise to be—anything God wants me to be.

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