Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Apple Tree: A Parenting Parable

I'm sorry I haven't been around for quite some time.  I quit my job and went back to school full time.  EEK!  It's been an experience, let me tell you!  It's not been a horrible one, it's mostly been good.  I'm learning a ton of things and I love that I can see the gospel of Jesus Christ in everything.

And I learned a great parenting parable in Biology the other day.  If everything points to gospel truth, then I think this points us in an interesting parenting direction.  Before I write the parable, I wanted to relay a fact to you that is important about apple trees.  Did you know that the apples that fall too closely to their parent tree will never maturate and become trees?  If they are too close to the tree, there is not potential for growth.  I won't write what I got out of that fact, I'm just going to write a little parable and then you can decide what you get out of it. Please comment and let me know what you think!

The Apple Tree: A Parenting Parable
by: Mynnette Kitchen 
(copyright 2013)

Not so long ago, a tiny seed fell from an apple and landed in fertile soil.  A beautiful and healthy apple tree grew from the seed.  It knew that it would need to grow tall in order for it's branches to hold it's fruit in the future.  It also knew it needed to not get too close to other apple trees that might take nutrients from its root system and sunlight that its leaves desperately needed.  It grew little by little, year by year.  It stretched its branches higher and higher to reach more sunlight to feed itself.  It made sure to take advantage of the rain.  It became a strong, healthy, and wonderful tree.

One day, after waking from a winter's rest, the apple tree realized that it was old enough to start to bear fruit.  It could feel the tiny buds starting to grow on its branches and knew that, this year, it would bear fruit.  Because it had grown taller than other trees around it and had not entangled its root system with another tree's roots, it was strong enough to bear many apples.  

As the blossoms turned into apples, the apple tree started to worry.  How would her fruit be able to realize its full potential and grow into other fruitful trees?  She knew that the seeds from her fruit would need to also grow in fertile ground.  It would need to grow and stretch.  It would need to find water for its roots.  And the apple tree also knew that if her fruit fell too close to her, it would never mature.  It would rot and it would decay.  It would come to nothing.  The seeds would be wasted.  She knew she had done all she could, but she also realized that when her fruit was mature enough, it had to leave her.  How else would it turn into another fruit bearing tree?

And so it was with great relief that, one autumn day, the apple tree saw people coming to pick her fruit.  She hoped it would be helpful to the people and that they would in turn be helpful to the seeds from her fruit.   Other animals came and took the fruit that had fallen from her heavy branches and carried it away to eat.  She had hope that the seeds from her fruit would find their way into fertile ground away from her where it would grow into trees.   She couldn't be sure exactly what would happen to her fruit and their seeds, but she knew that leaving her sheltering branches would be the best chance for success.

Unfortunately, not all of her fruit was picked or taken away from her.  Some of it fell to the ground at her trunk and she mourned the loss of what could have been.  If only her fruit had been taken somewhere that it could grow and strengthen itself!

There is opposition in all things.  It is important for us to take the good with the bad.  How will you, as a parent, give your child the opportunity to allow him or her to be the best they can be?