Apples & Wisdom

Chris Stirewalt says, “…its possibilities look about as good as the chances of apple bobbing while wearing a corona mask.”

I’m not math bright nor am I a gambler, but I sure like to know what the chance and probabilities are. Maybe Johnny Mathis sowed the question—“Chances Are….” Are what? I want to know how to evaluate possibilities. Jesus gave us the equation.

By their fruit you will recognize them (Matthew 7).

It seems to me—at least this week—the determining skills and characteristics and most the most important elements to teach self and others are:

  • Resilience
  • Resourcefulness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility

If a person has that package of emotional, mental and spiritual strengths, they are most likely to survive, and perhaps thrive, during economic and social upheavals.

The reasoning for this is the fruit question. What will the outcome—the fruit—be if I follow this behavior, plan of action or decision to the logical conclusion? What will this line of thinking produce? From what orchard did the present conditions come?

Let’s look at this from the other side. What fruit do you want? If the above four skills and habits (R4) is what we desire, then what growing season and what activities and lessons are required? How is resilience developed? What teaches resourcefulness? How does respect for the soil, other people’s property and other people grow? How do we acquire the ability to take responsibility for our own actions and life?

R4 do not come to us fully developed, they are grown. The principle applies to everything. Chances are increased if first we ask, “What will result if I follow this action?” That demands self-awareness and personal discipline to routinely ask and discern the best answer.

What fruit will rioting bear? Listen to the rhetoric and platform of a political candidate and ask, “If the nation (county, village or me personally) follows this plan, where will it lead? What is the inevitable fruit? How does this decision-making pattern affect business decisions and personal decisions?

We were given a peck of apples. Carole made an apple pie. She said it was the first pie she had ever baked. What? How is that possible? I love pie. And her pie was fantastic. I come from a heritage of pie-bakers, so I feel qualified to judge. It was great! As good as Mom’s, if not better.

Since I peeled the apples, worm holes and rotting sections caught my attention. Checking the fruit demands we ask about worms in the apple.

You shall know them—people by their fruit. Negative results can be traced to causes—sometimes. There is an inevitable crop—not always, but worth asking “Where did that come from?” If you lock down business, lock up people in a small space, lock out gatherings of worship, forbid hugging and proclaim that mask wearing solves problems, what is most apt to happen? Unemployment, mental/emotional illness, growing anxiety and depression, agitation and frayed nerves. (There has been a growing number of inquiries about divorce especially among the newly married. No joke.) Keep kids away from routine, interaction, intentional education and the fruit is predictable.

There is an inevitable harvest. A lot of energy has been wasted on blaming. Shouldn’t we instead respond with plans? You shall know what to do if you see what the fruit is going to look like. Part of the dilemma we are living in is that of uncertainty and the unknown. Only a few futurists and godly prophets saw what September 15 would look like from the view of February 1.  The American Indians and Aborigines from Australia could have told us about wild fires. If their wisdom would have been sought and trusted. We do know what December 31 will look like if we neglect resilience, resourcefulness, respect and personal responsibility.

I don’t know if governments can be taught how to “test the spirits,” or “check the fruit.” I know the “fruit” of Resilience, Resourcefulness, Respect and Responsibility in your life and mine is worth the investment. The fruit of R4 is wisdom and insight. We need a ton of that.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7 KJV).

©2020 D. Dean Benton,   Writer,  Wonderer,  Wisdom seeker

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