Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Life in the Apple Tree

I climb an apple tree and slowly work my way up to the fruit-laden branches.  My mouth is watering as I imagine the crisp sweetness of the first bite of the shiny red fruit.  I have a dilemma.  I could easily pick a few apples that are not ripe yet.  They are convenient to reach and I wouldn't have to climb any higher or farther.  Going farther is risky.  What if I fall?  It looks like a precarious endeavor to get out to the ripest fruit at the end of the branch.  Should I climb higher or take what's easy to get hold of?  I decide I want nothing but the BEST.  So I take a deep breath and inch my way out toward the end of the branch.  As I slowly pass the other apples not yet fully ripe, I weigh my decision.  Am I crazy?  Alas, I am finally within inches of my goal....a beautiful red apple just waiting, waiting....

Taking risks has never been a natural thing for me.  As a child I'd been taught to play it safe.  But my years have been filled with all kinds of risky decisions.  Not careless risk, but heavy and calculated decisions involving how I will best use my resources, time and how much of myself I will give to others. I've found the longer I live the more risk opportunity lies before me.  Sometimes I hate it.  But I have to admit that each precarious step I take brings more confidence about going higher and farther.

I'm determined to go for the BEST in 2011.   How about you?

"No noble thing can be done without risks." Michel de Montaigne

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." The Apostle Paul, written during his Roman imprisonment.