Fresh fruit! The best! Recently, I stopped at a local fruit stand to get some peaches. Off to the side, I noticed several watermelons laying in a wagon of hay. I asked the man if he had any that were seedless. He pointed to the small, dark green ones and I picked out the largest.
Later, at home, my anticipation of the sweet, convenient thrill of SEEDLESS watermelon drew me to the counter. I reached for a large knife and the initial cut made that wonderful popping sound as the outer layer cracked open. Mmm mmm, I thought to myself, this is gonna be good!
As the halves fell to either side, I could feel my taste buds watering. Few things are more satisfying than a cold slice of juicy watermelon and the convenience of just digging in without having to worry about any of those annoying little seeds. I prepared myself for a first glance at the deep red center of my delicious delight.
That’s when it happened.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! My heart sank and my taste buds wilted. There they were, dozens of them! Dozens and dozens of little black SEEDS! Like an army of annoying pleasure bandits, they lined the outer rim of my seedless watermelon. I was disappointed.
It took some time, but after regaining my composure, I decided to make the best out of a really bad situation. I reached for a spoon and prepared to scoop out the seedless heart of the melon. (Oh, come on! Tell me you never did that before?!) But just before I lowered the spoon, a precious moment from my past took over.
As a child, one of my favorite summer events was sitting in front of my grandmother’s house and spitting watermelon seeds all over the yard. It always started as a wonderful afternoon treat, but ended with all the cousins spitting seeds at each other and making boasts about the distance they could reach with their mouth cannon.
Again, I looked down at my seedless watermelon. Were the seeds really an army of pleasure bandits or were they a reminder of a time when I learned to turn inconvenience into pleasure?
As I pondered that question, it was like someone pressed the home movie slideshow button in my brain and a flood of other precious inconvenient memories came to me.
How about the snowy screen of that black and white television and the inconvenience of climbing onto the roof to adjust the antenna as all the cousins yelled, “Hurry! The Walton’s are about to come on!”?
How about the inconvenience of having to walk to school with friends or walk all the way to the store just to trade in soda bottles for candy money?
What about the inconvenience of swimming in a pond or stream because there was no money to go to the community pool?
What about the inconvenience of having to eat home cooked meals rather than eating out?
What about those inconvenient hot summer nights when the windows were left up and a gentle breeze accented the sound of a thousand crickets singing us to sleep?
What about those inconveniences? Is it possible that this lack of luxury taught us the life-skills of patience, appreciation and responsibility? Is it possible that these inconveniences actually made us better people?
I have decided that seedless watermelons are the downfall of the American culture? Through them and hundreds of other crazy luxuries, we have spoiled our children and literally stolen from them the joy of learning from inconvenience. No, I’m not saying that providing a better life for our children is a bad thing, but I am saying that a better life is not necessarily defined by a lack of inconvenience. Sugarcoated everything WILL lead to a bellyache, and today, America has a giant bellyache. We must teach our children the skill of suffering successfully. If we do, they will find peace both in times of want and in times of plenty. If we do not, their gluttonous self-destruction will be upon our heads. Teach your child to be content. Help them celebrate inconvenience. Make it real!
Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Note: Sharing these Sonny Day Devos is a great way to open doors for conversations about God and His values. Just follow these simple steps:
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The story above was taken from the book, “A Funny Thing Happened On Our Way to Heaven” by Sonny Childs. In the spirit of those chicken soup books, this collection of 52 short stories is sure to inspire.
To purchase your copy, use the buy now button below.