Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lessons from the Apple

I should have been prepared.

I should have known.

The church hosted a Fall Fest at a members' home and one of the activities included apple bobbing.  Good ole' fashion apple bobbing.

Full of water and an assortment of golden and red apples, the youth waited with anticipation.

"Can I go first?"

"I want to go!"

One by one, heads went in.  One by one, water covered faces, hair and clothes.  One by one, apples came up with each youth collected by their teeth.

Then came the words I should have anticipated:  "It's your turn, pastor!"

I had no excuse.  I wasn't sick.  I'm not really afraid of germs.  If all the youth could do it, why not me?

Except, I couldn't remember the last time I bobbed for apples.  If ever.  How do you exactly bob for apples?

But bob I did.  I received lots of advice.

"Just plunge your head in!"
"Grab it by the stem.  No, that's cheating!"
"Push it to the side."

And bob I kept doing to no avail.  No apples were being lifted out of the water.  

Finally as a resort to spare myself any further humiliation, I invited someone else to challenge me to see who could get the apple first.  If someone else could get an apple, perhaps I could be spared any further failed efforts.

My challenger came forward and we counted: 1, 2, and 3, GO!

In went his head, completely submerged, and not seconds later he came up with an apple.

I still had no apple.

But that's okay.

There was plenty of laughter and screams and joyous expressions when my challenger went head first right into a cold bucket of water.

Cheers abounded.

Then one of the youth grabbed an apple for me and gave it to me.  "Here you go, pastor!"

I took a bite.  Pure joy.  I may not have acquired the apple the proper way in true apple bobbing fashion.  I may have given up.  Thankfully someone else was there to provide a way for me.  

Many others that day didn't give up.  There were youth and adults who kept going back in the bucket.  I reveled in their determination and gave thanks for each of them.  For their commitment.

I give thanks for those who are able to dive right into life no matter what obstacles get in the way.  And I give thanks for those who offer an apple, those who offer hope, to a fellow brother and sister.


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