Once upon a time there lived an apple. She was a brilliant red color with a sweet and tangy flavor. She grew on a tree in an orchard surrounded by other lovely fruits. She appreciated all her God-given qualities and looked forward to the day when she would become applesauce to be enjoyed by a child or accompany other apples in an award-winning apple pie.
One day, the apple began looking around her. On the tree next to hers grew some luscious looking oranges. At first she glanced at them and appreciated their beauty as she did her own.
After awhile, she began to look down at her own shiny skin and wonder why she didn’t have the brightness of the orange. The orange on the tree next to her was perfectly round, she noticed. As the days passed, she began to feel that her goals of applesauce and apple pie were silly, and it would be so much better to be squeezed into someone’s breakfast glass.
The orange, meanwhile was becoming distracted by some bushes growing near her tree. They contained plump blackberries, perfectly ripened in the sun. She watched as children came and filled buckets with them, laughing all the while. She looked at her bright, smooth skin and longed to be soft and dark like the blackberry. Who wants a tart orange juice when they can enjoy a delicious berry cobbler? she thought.
One of the blackberries was not enjoying her ripeness and beauty, however. As she rested among the leaves of the blackberry bush, she looked up often and longingly at the apple and the orange. They are so big, so bright and so high! she thought, with regret that she was just a lowly blackberry.
Finally, the three fruits decided that they wanted to be more like the other fruit around them. They enlisted the gardener’s help and were grafted as an apple/orange/blackberry hybrid. Now they could have all the qualities they wished!
When the new fruit grew, however, it was quite different than any of them had expected. The color was rather dull, much to the chagrin of the blackberry. The shape was odd, much to the apple’s dismay. And the orange felt the new skin with dread as she realized it was neither soft or smooth but rather mushy.
The gardener came to gather some of the newly ripened fruit. Curiously, he surveyed the strangely shaped fruit. He plucked it from the tree and ran a thumb over it’s odd exterior. With a shrug, he said, “The proof is in the taste.”
Back in his kitchen, the gardener tried to decide what to do with the new fruit hybrid. Should he bake it into a pie? He sliced it open and looked at the murky flesh inside. It didn’t seem like it would make a very appealing pie.
Maybe it would make a delicious juice? But as he tried to squeeze it, nothing but a few odd-colored drops came from the fruit.
With another shrug, he took out his knife and sliced off a bit of the fruit. It squished in his hands so much that he couldn’t pick up a piece suitable for tasting. He grabbed a spoon and scooped the smashed fruit from the counter top and popped it into his mouth. As soon as the fruit touched his tastebuds, it flew back across the room!
The taste was absolutely horrible with none of the tanginess of the orange or the sweetness of the blackberry or the crunch of the apple. With sadness and disgust, he scooped the rest of the fruit into the trash can.
Now the gardener walks among his trees and his blackberry bushes and relishes the thought of the individual qualities of each fruit. He doesn’t have a hybrid that is good for nothing. He can enjoy apple pie, berry cobbler or fresh squeezed orange juice. He can appreciate the beauty of each fruit.
If variety is the spice of life, than a fruit farm of different trees is its sweetness.
I’m sure you can see the point of my silly little story. Appreciate the beauty and flavor of those around you and thank God for them. But, no matter which tree you call your home, thrive there and enjoy the sweetness the Creator has instilled in you. Dream of the delicious flavor only you can contribute. Then, together with the other fruits, create the fruit salad that makes the orchard a wonderful place to be.