Herald Journal Columns
Aug. 11, 2003 Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

To understand watermelon wisdom

By Rev. Mark Winther, Walker United Methodist Church, Howard Lake

"Can be" often is more valuable than "what is." Context: John 1:42

There's a story of a 10-year-old girl who stopped at a farmer's fruit stand.

Nearby was a watermelon patch. She picked out a hefty melon.

"That one's $3," said the farmer.

The girl replied, "I've got only 30 cents."

Deciding to have some fun at the girl's expense, the farmer pointed to a small, immature melon still in the field. "How about this one for 30 cents?" he asked.

Quick as a flash the girl replied, "OK, I'll take it. But leave it on the vine. I'll be back for it in three weeks."

Can't you just see that farmer lifting his cap, scratching his head and wondering how so quickly he got taken by a 10-year-old?

Two very valuable lessons rise out of that story. One for the "farmer" and one for the "girl."

The lesson for the farmer is this: Watch out! Never underestimate the savvy of a 10-year-old, or anyone else, for that matter. Those we think know little about the complexities of life are so capable of cutting through them to redden our faces ­ leaving us scratching our heads and wondering how we got so easily taken for a dunce.

The lesson for the girl is this: Life often offers us budding opportunities at a reduced price. At the time they may look "green" and unpromising. But if we would believe in them enough to buy into them, they just might hand us tenfold value "three weeks later."

Jesus proved it. He picked out Simon when Simon was quite "green" and unpromising. But in just three short years, Simon became the "Rock" upon which the church was founded.

Watermelon wisdom is still surprisingly valuable.

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