Vol.IX No.VI Pg.8
August 1972

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

A fellow-Kentuckian told me this story, with its reminder of earlier days and frugal ways. Each fall his father bought a barrel of apples, and placed them in the cellar. There were always a few overripe apples on top, and they ate those first so they would not be wasted. But by the time they went to the barrel again, others were overripe, and had to be eaten. All winter long they ate the fruit with the rotten spots-- and never did get to eat a good solid apple.

The present generation will likely have little patience with this no waste, make-do spirit of the past; but I must not hurry my application. In a day when many had no apples at all, I suppose the overripe apples seemed a greater blessing than they would today. Too, we must not confuse the rotten apple, that could not be redeemed, with something that could be improved and fully used.

But I find a bit of Kentucky philosophy here for all generations. In our reluctance to acknowledge a lost cause -- to pay the piper for yesterdays fling, and move on to better things-- we may spend our lives one step behind. Todays opportunities, and fruits, must be used -- today! Christianity promotes a pecuIiar affinity for today, despite its obvious aim at eternity. Paul discouraged living in the past, saying, Forgetting those things which behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before... (Phil. 3. 13-14) and Jesus said, Take the fore no thought (be not anxious RV) for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matt. 6:34) In each case, our spiritual and eternal well-being (which is the foremost consideration) is best served by a proper use of today. A Christian can forget yesterday for it is forgiven; and is not worried about tomorrow, because he has a solid trust in God.

And I have half-a-notion to say (I do hope I am right in this) that he should go ahead and eat some those good apples, today; and invite the neighbors in for good apples. At the risk of encouraging some to be spendthrifts and wastrels, with the apples; I am trying to encourage all to spend themselves, richly and fully -- today!

Good intentions and rotten apples make poor paving for heavens road.