I sat cross-legged on the kitchen floor in front of the glass sliding door, every muscle in my little seven-year old body willing the apple tree to grow. The day before, I had enjoyed the sweetest, juiciest apple. Just before I swallowed the seeds, I snatched one from my mouth and ran out the door to plant my apple tree. With the seed gently planted under the thin layer of rocks that lined our front patio, I began my vigil.
After a few days of raw disappointment, I was about to abandon hope. But before I could completely forget my dream of eating apples from my own back yard, my father came to shed light on my disappointment.
“Whatever happened to your apple tree?” he asked, with a sparkle in his sea-blue eyes.
Sighing, I complained that it hadn’t grown yet even though I’d waited so long. Then, in his sweet and gentle way, he broke the news that it probably wouldn’t grow under a pile of rocks. And that even if I had planted it in the right kind of soil, it would take a very long time to grow.
More than thirty years have passed, and I’ve encountered many disappointments that far outweigh the apple tree incident. Through it all, I’ve learned the secret of waiting patiently. Anything worth waiting for takes time. Especially when it comes to love.
Imagine if, in my impatience, I crushed the seeds I planted? There’d be no hope for those poor little guys. It’s the same in relationships. True love plants seeds in the right soil, knowing that in time, the seeds will grow. Love does not demand growth, change, forgiveness, reconciliation, or reciprocation. It patiently waits for the right season, even if it takes a lifetime.
Recently, I drove past the site of my childhood apple tree letdown. The old townhouse hadn’t changed much from when I was little. And there was still no apple tree. But now I know the secret of the seed. And I am willing to wait.
(Excerpted from Jen’s post “In the Land of the Living” on FaithWriters & Tears Of Joy Blog)