Johnny Appleseed

I was a Girl Scout when I was young and in addition to teaching me to always “Be Prepared”, I also learned a little something about God.

First, I learned that “do a good turn daily” was just another way of
saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” .  Second, I learned that God comes before Country, but that the two are not mutually exclusive.  More on that another day. Finally, I learned that God is good and although He provides many things for us, we don’t get a free ride and God will never do for us what He has entrusted us to do for ourselves.

You might think that’s a pretty big concept for a Brownie and truth be told, you’re probably right. Nonetheless, it was as a Brownie Girl Scout that I first learned the
words to the song “Johnny Appleseed” and it was in those words that I realized God, while all loving and ever merciful, is NOT an enabler.   The song goes like this:

Oh, the Lord is good to me

For giving me, the things I need

The sun and the rain and the Appleseed

The Lord is good to me.

You see, God gives us what we need, but it is up to us to use what he gives us to make something of our lives.  All the farmer needs to be successful is a little seed for his crop, sun to cause the growth, and water to nourish the roots.  If God gives the seed, and God
causes the sun to shine and heavens to rain, and yet the farmer does not till the soil, does not plant, or does not harvest, is God to blame for the farmer’s demise?

How many times has God provided us seed for our own harvest yet we do not plant?  How many ideas have we had that we have discarded because of one reason or another?  The idea was too complicated.  The idea was too outlandish.  The idea was too complicated.   Those ideas were God’s seeds.

How many times has God provided a job when we needed one but we turned it down because of pride, or fear, or any one of a thousand rationalizations as to why it is not the “right” job for us?  It’s too far from home.  It doesn’t pay enough.  It involves manual labor.  It means working with a person I don’t like.  Those jobs were God’s seeds.

Have you ever turned your back on that still, small voice in your soul telling you to do something specific? Perhaps it was an urging to give money to the panhandler at the freeway offramp.  Maybe it was an internal warning to not over-extend your credit card.
Maybe you just knew you needed to step away from a casino slot machine.
Those still, small voices were God’s seeds.

God is good, all the time.  All the time, God is good.  He gives us the things that we need.  What we do with them is up to us.

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One Response to Johnny Appleseed

  1. Malte says:

    because the pasotr asked me to. For the next few years, I’d've said because I like to. Only in the last few years would I be able to answer along the lines of paragraphs 2-4. But you are right, to root out vice and grow in virtue, and feel this missionary zeal thoroughly informs my catechetical vocation as of late, if vocation isn’t too presumptious a term for what I do on Wednesday nights.I mention all this to assure any reader that he may be called to catechize even if the reasons outlined in the post seem abstract, pious, or he doesn’t feel like a saint. I mean, it’s like marriage: the reasons I have for being married now are way more perceptive & comprehensive than the reasons I had for getting married in the first place.So for many catechists, giving it a try because the pasotr or DRE asked you to may turn out to be reason enough; and the higher view may come later with experience.