Cornbread, wild onions, and green apples
By Sparta Live | August 27, 2018 8:33 am
By Steve Qualls – Christpoint Church
Years ago, when my father was alive, we passed by a yard in the late winter that was full of wild onions. My dad, being quick-witted and humorous, spoke quickly by saying that if he had a pan of cornbread and a glass of buttermilk, he could make a meal right there in that yard.
He told many stories to me when I was growing up. One included a story of an apple tree on a hillside that stood en route to their swimming hole. Being young boys passing an apple tree, he noted that as they passed that tree they would strip every apple from its branches long before the first fruit ever became ripe.
There wasn’t a lot of money in the days when my parents were growing up, but with every story that unfolded through the years, I never remember hearing of a single time they regretted having little as children, especially the days growing up on the farm. There was always lots of work to do, lots of trees to climb, lots of ponds to fish in, and lots of squirrels to hunt. There wasn’t time to live in regret or comparison or even a thought of either.
Sometimes we just want someone to climb with us. You see, I grew up on that same farm, and I really don’t remember the toys we may have accumulated, but I do remember the trees and hills we climbed and the grape vines we swung from.
In the book of Mathew, there just happens to be a hill to climb. In chapter 5, Jesus climbed the mountain and sat down. Then his disciples came to him. He began his great sermon on the mount on the top of that hill. Those who climb receive the greatest teaching. Sometime, we don’t really want to know who’s for us; we just need to know who’s with us. Who will climb with us?
I’m sure my father ate his share of wild onions and green apples throughout his life, and I can only imagine how many trees and hills they climbed. But when it came time to work, they always knew who was with them. They didn’t leave anyone behind. If one or two finished before the others, it didn’t mean they were first out of the field and first to line up at the dinner table. They finished everyone out together. They helped the slower catch up, and then left the field as one unit.
When the disciples made that decision to climb with Jesus, they separated themselves from the crowd. They sat at his feet as he poured great teaching onto them. The instruction from Jesus was so powerful that we are still learning from it today. Many have read and heard this discourse on the mount, but only the climbers had a front row seat.
We could make comparisons concerning life being like wild onions growing in a field and apple trees bearing fruit on a hillside to our lives. We could say that sometimes life gives you fruit, and sometimes it gives you onions. But there’s one thing for certain that I can say as I think back on what my dad said that day, and that is if you are in a season of life where it seems like all you’re getting is wild onions, then look for the buttermilk and cornbread; the onions aren’t so bad anymore when we add those.
Jesus took a climb, and 12 men made the choice to go with him. Let’s choose to go higher with Jesus. The altitude has a way of making the cornbread hotter, the onions tastier, and the apples sweeter. On the mountain, we no longer see the field as full of sour onions, but instead it looks more like a dinner table. And everyone wants to slide up to eat when the food is good.
If you’ll come on over to Christpoint Church, we will slide up a chair. I’ll see you at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. this Sunday morning on Liberty Square, in Sparta. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.