Johnny Appleseed, whose real name was John Chapman, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to the people of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia. He became an American legend while still alive, due to his kind, generous ways. He was also a church missionary preaching primarily to Native Americans and small town folks.He lived from 1774 till 1845 and is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
In his time, apples were an European import and foreign to the American tundra. Johnny Appleseed changed all that. His method, unlike his legend of randomly dropping seeds wherever he went, was to build nurseries in every town he visited. He would leave the nursery in the care of a neighbor and partner with him on the proceeds. Yet wherever he went, he also preached the Word. His audience included the Native American whom he admired and the local towns people. He not only sprinkled apple seeds wherever he went, he also sprinkled seeds of God’s Kingdom wherever he traveled.
Isn’t that how living legends are made?
I strongly believe that this life is an adventurous journey of transformation in Christ. That God is creating a new person within us. That life’s challenges and opportunities only help shape us into the image of Jesus Christ. And that this is not just for our sake, but more so for the sake of others as we partner with Christ in the redemptive adoption of all creation. Also, that wherever we go, we are given the opportunity to likewise spread Kingdom seeds. Yet isn’t it difficult to spread seeds if there is no abiding fruit to gather seeds from?
I remember a time when we were reading scriptures and suddenly realized how the Bible described a godly person. The saint (who the Bible describes as anyone walking with God) is full with the Spirit of God. That Spirit empowers the person to experience deep, overflowing love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The question arose, where is that in my life? Why am not I experiencing this life in all its abundance? Is it possible that I am not being true with God, myself, and others?
After waking up from the spiritual shock, we spent much time praying, seeking, and knocking on doors. The result was God flooding me with His empowering grace. A grace not limited by only God’s unmerited forgiveness for my sins, but a grace that showers God’s unmerited favor on everything lacking in my life. At the end of the day, we came to realize it all comes from HIM. We may pursue excellence, but what we lack He supplies. We may pursue faithfulness, but what we lack He supplies. What fruit abides in me is only because He produces it. I only prepare the field and abide. The seeds we scatter come from the fruit He produces.
What becomes even more amazing is that the seeds we radically scatter today, keeps being replenished within us and multiplied in the lives of the recipients who likewise begin the journey of enjoying the life they have in Christ.
Like Johnny Appleseed, we are made to scatter the seeds of God’s Kingdom wherever we go. Yet we can’t scatter what we don’t first have. If you are not where you want to be with your walk with Christ, take time now to pray and ask Him for your journey to become more richer and grace laden in everything you do. That is when life in Christ becomes even more enjoyable with a peaceful rest and no negative hangovers.