Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree?

This year was the first year I’ve ever had a fruit tree produce and allow a harvest. I’ve picked up apples full of bugs, lots of bruising, with worms, attractive on the outside but rotten on the inside, some tart, some sweet, and small knobby and full of juice ones. My thinking has been stewing about “the apple falling” every since the harvesting started.
I’ve heard it over and over again…by people reading about problem children, about teens who are into troubled times and on call after call…as co workers have to start dealing with children of repeat offenders…saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Well, may I suggest, the fate of the apple…is not up to the tree.
I’ve seen great guilt over a child’s behavior as well, as the child embarrassed by a parent’s behavior. I’ve seen parents frustrated with their children’s behavior, embarrassed at times, and so put out that they are ready to disown them. I’ve seen parents not recognize the precious “fruit” they have produced and the joy they bring to others. I’ve seen parents just not care about the harvest.
And I have something to say…cause nature teaches us along the way if we pay attention.
Think along the lines of the apple tree…How can so many different apples fall from the tree? In the process of bloom to “the fall” many things can happen that will enhance or take away from the desired function. Fungus, bugs, birds, worms, animals, weather (lack of/heavy rains, heat/cold) to name some…So when “the fall” occurs…being produced by said tree or the short distance it falls from said tree, neither are responsible for the condition…or usefulness of the apple.
These “apples” that don’t fall far from the tree…mentioned by folks who think the parents are always responsible for the actions of the child…these “apples” are more precious than any fruit. So many experiences can determine the usefulness of these “apples”…that the parent tree cannot prevent or just didn’t see it coming so to prevent. Think about worms such as a sexual predator or the teen who is introduced to drugs by “a friend.” Think about media, the influences music, movies, television have on the developing mind. Think about nutrition and how the lack of can affect brain cell growth and health. Think about education, how the lack of it or the false teachings can affect the mind. Are these not just like the many causes that affect an apple on the tree?
Again I suggest, the fate of the apple…is not always up to the tree.
 “Train up a child in the way it should go and when it is old it will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Notice it doesn’t say, “Train up a child and it will never make mistakes.” Notice it doesn’t say, “Train up a child and you are totally responsible for all of their actions.” It does suggest…there are choices involved…and they are up to the child…and all the parent is responsible for is the training.
When I was in first grade, I checked out the same book every week from the school library. It got so that the librarian said I had to wait in between checkouts to allow other children a chance. Rain Makes Applesauce  (Julian Scheer(Author),Marvin Bileck(Illustrator)). I loved the nonsense. I loved the illustrations. Now that I’m older I love the idea, that a life process produces beyond what you generally think. For those adult children that think their parents are rotten apples…for those parents who think their children are rotten apples…God makes Applesauce…doesn’t matter the tree…or the condition of the apple…He can make something good from it. I'm not just talking silly talk.
For those parents who feel guilt…for the disease your sweet apple may have, for the choices your sweet apple has made, for the predators that lay hands on your sweet apple…I understand the guilt…but it’s unwarranted.  Guilt is a nasty habit. Work at letting it go. As I’ve learned from a very wise lady… “Life happens and you are not in control. Let the choices of others belong to them. Own your own choices. Let God reign over the evil and wickedness of this world… help make a difference when you can.”
And too...many parents are often given credit for the inspiring behavior of their adult children. When in fact they may have produced the child but another tended the fruit. Which reiterates, my thinking...the fate of the apple…is not always up to the tree.
So consider stoping…stop comparing parents and their children whether it’s giving them credit/responsibility for good/bad behaviors…just stop, it’s like apples and oranges.

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