Having done all the reading I could before drowsiness overtook me, I was employing every option at my
disposal to stretch the time while in a hospital lounge area waiting for a friend. I was squeezed among an
assortment of restless characters most assuredly not of my choosing, but who were arguably as bored and I.
Glancing over my shoulder, hopefully discretely, at the Reader’s Digest which the person next to me was
methodically leafing through, the only thing I could see clearly was “If you’re going to plant crab apples, don’t
expect Golden Delicious”. Boy, that was catchy. In my head I shuffled through it’s many applications for the
remainder of the day.
If we don’t give our best to God, isn’t it a little presumptuous to ask God to bless us with the best from His
bounty? My guess is that if each of us analyzed everything we did on any given day that we’d come up short
of the mark when it comes to giving our best effort to each encounter, whether physically or socially. God in
return however, has never given anything but the best, including His only begotten Son.
When financially squeezed, the tempting response is to cut back on giving when the offering plate comes
around. Unfortunately, this I know from experience. The thing is, if we give the best we can, there’s no
guarantee that we may ever become advantaged in any way that we can point to. Mark 12:41-44 tells of the
poor widow who gave her all, a mere two mites which amounted to practically nothing, and yet Jesus
indicated that her reward in heaven would be great. We’re all for that, but nothing in Scripture says that her
earthly life was bettered from that moment on.
Earthly put, if you plant crab apple trees you’re bound to get crab apples. Spiritually put, morally it’s the
wrong choice, but God in His mercy might in return just give you Golden Delicious in spite of yourself. It
happens. There were crab apple trees out in the expansive meadow down behind our cottage on lower
Cape Cod when I was a kid growing up. The small apples growing on diminutive spindly trees would make
you pucker every time you bit into one, which of course every kid would do, but added to regular apples in a
pie with the help of a lot of sugar – not bad at all.
So the choice becomes a personal one and certainly a moral one. Luke 19:17 tells us to be faithful in the
little everyday things, diligently planting quality seeds, not because anyone will be the wiser, but because in
the end each of us stands before Jesus all by ourselves when all those little private choices will be revealed.