The Core of the Matter

Recently I heard a speaker in church say, “You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the apples in a seed.” The remark got me thinking way beyond the intent of the truism (a bad habit of mine).

The aphorism does say something nice about a person’s potential and how big things can come from little ones. But after some thought, I realized that you can count the apples in most seeds: zero, nada. For one thing, seeds don’t turn into trees if you try to count the apples in them. Once you’ve looked inside a seed, it is dead and will never have an apple “inside” it. Furthermore, not one in a million seeds ever makes an apple. The most perfect apples go to market and are eaten, their seeds going down the drain. Good apples rarely have a chance to seed; mostly the rotten ones on the ground do. And that happens only with great luck, since most seeds don’t sprout, and those that do are often eaten by animals in the orchard or mowed or plucked out by the gardener who prefers to raise apple trees from grafts anyway. Even if you were to save an apple seed and try to grow it, you would need a great deal of luck, not to mention skill, to succeed. It would be an even longer shot to keep the tree alive long enough for it to produce apples.

Maybe that is why so few of us ever really reach our full potential. The chances against it are so great we can only get there by accepting assistance from the hand of God.

Kim Bateman

Spring City, Utah