One of the very first sets of books I ever read was Bedtime Stories by Uncle Arthur Maxwell; five books filled with character building stories for little people. When I was learning to read my father sold those books door to door. Well, that was what he was supposed to do but he was the principal of an elementary school and instead of going door to door he got his colleagues to put them in their school libraries. Never did I dream in a thousand years that as an adult one of our best friends would be Arthur Maxwell’s son. Today the stories are very outdated but the moral lessons are eternal. Good morals never go out of date; only the cultural details change with time.
This afternoon my sister went to a u-pick apple orchard and was laughing at people trying to get just one or two more apples to balance on top of the baskets they purchased to fill. Inevitably the balanced apples tumbled to the ground before they got to their cars. When she told me about it I immediately remembered one of Uncle Arthur Maxwell’s stories about their family sitting around the table and one of the boys always made sure he got the biggest pie or apple or whatever, just so it was the biggest. Then one day the biggest pie was hollow and the biggest apple had a bad center.
It is part of our nature to want to get the biggest and the most but so often in life the biggest isn’t the best. True happiness in life comes from service to others. Real happiness comes from helping others get the best. Life’s greatest rewards are the fruit of unselfishness and from putting apples in another’s basket.
Written by Roger Bothwell on October 11, 2010
Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helenca, CA 94574