Parable of the apple tree

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, May 25, 2017

Patience pays off for our backyard apple tree: May 17, promise-filled buds; May 19, encouraging first blossom; May 21, bee-satisfying full bloom.
Photos by Warren Harbeck

Last week’s column celebrated the arrival of spring in Cochrane in all its floral glory. One of the photos I included was my May 12 shot of the promise-filled pink buds on our backyard apple tree.

But impatient guy that I am, when a week had passed and still all I found on the tree were buds, I began to think to myself, “Is that all? All promise, and no action?”

Well, my despair was short-lived. When I looked out our bedroom window late afternoon on the 19th, there it was, right within close-up distance for my camera: the first blossom. Maybe all was not lost, after all.

And then, on May 21, WOW! By late afternoon our apple tree was in full bloom. Even the honey bees wasted no time in enjoying its sweetness, just like kids descending on a cotton candy concession at the opening of the Calgary Stampede.

Yup! What a difference nine days made. But it was bad enough that this year’s spring beauty around Cochrane was three week’s behind last year’s. Why, then, when those buds finally did appear, did it take more than another week to deliver on their promise? I mean, “Why didn’t they just get on with the show?” I grumbled.

All of a sudden, I heard a Still Small Voice whispering to me: “Warren, learn the lesson of those apple blossoms.”

“Huh? Lesson?” I said.

“Yes,” the Voice said, “you’ve memorized Psalm 37:1-7, but by your impatience in many areas, you still haven’t made its message a reality in your life. You read the words that tell you not to fret or be envious when life seems unfair and hard; yet at times you still despair of ever seeing life’s beauty.

“Yes,” the Voice continued, “you think often about verse 3 as a guide for your life and writings: ‘Trust in the Lord and do good.’ You even mouth the words of verse 7, ‘Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.’ But you really haven’t learned patience yet, have you? Learn the lesson of those apple blossoms.”

Well, I guess I’ll never look at our backyard apple tree the same way again. Yes, patience! The beauty will be revealed.

© 2017 Warren Harbeck

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