Jennifer Rios, 16, stood there and just stared into the pear tree on her grandfather’s farm. Her eyes were fixed on a single pear which was hanging from one of the tree’s topmost branches. It was not only ripe and pretty but was the largest pear she had ever seen. “I gotta get that pear,” she thought. “I gotta get that pear if it’s the last thing in the world I ever do”.
While Jennifer was standing there her mother came outside. “Jennifer! What in the heck are you looking at? Is there a snake up there in that tree? Ah-h-h! Are you still looking at that pear again?” Her tone of voice conveyed a sense that the issue of the huge pear had been discussed before.
Jennifer stood at the foot of the tree motionless. The only thing on her mind was that huge pear. This year, 2006, greeted Oklahoma with very hot, dry weather. Pear trees had not faired very well this year. So this pear meant so much to her. The thought of the taste of that big juicy pear was more than Jennifer could stand. Jennifer stood there imagining how good that pear would be.
“Jennifer! Jennifer! Are you listening to me young lady?”
Jennifer began thinking of ways to get the pear. “Humm,” she thought. “There’s only one way I think I can get that pear. Because there is no pole long enough to reach it nor is the tree small enough to shake it loose nor can I throw rocks high enough to reach it either. So I’ll just have to shoot it down. With that thought solidly in her mind, Jennifer went into the house to get her grandfather’s 22 caliber gun with a scope sight.
“Jennifer, you’re not going to do what I think you’re going to do, young lady?” responded her mother. “You are not to even touch your grandfather’s gun! For one thing, you’re not really trained to handle a gun. And I don’t want you firing that thing anywhere near this house. You’ll hurt somebody. Now I mean that Jennifer!”
“But mom! I’ll be careful. I’ll aim it straight up towards the upper branches of the tree. I wouldn’t aim it at anybody.”
“No, Jennifer! I meant what I said the first time ‘NO’. And just to make certain you don’t touch it I’m removing your grandfather’s gun from this area.”
“Darn! Hey! I’ll go and buy me a slingshot. That’ll do just as well. Besides a slingshot is pretty safe. I’ll do it!”
After purchasing the slingshot, Jennifer quickly returned to the tree. “I’m not letting anything stop me from getting that pear. Carefully aiming at the pear, Jennifer let the steel ball fly. There was a cracking noise then a loud scream as Jennifer fell covering her left eyes to the ground.
Her mother rushed to her side calling her name repeatedly but there was no response. She shook her daughter then cried: “Jennifer! Jennifer! Are you okay? Are you hurt? Are you in pain? Jennifer! Please say something, please!” as tears rolled down her cheeks. “I told you to be careful and not to try to get that pear! Why must you insist on getting that pear?”
After a few minutes, Jennifer sat up, complained of a splitting headache with a red bruise the size of quarter just over her left eyebrow. “Oooooo! Mom! Mom! My head really hurts! Why did God let this happen? Isn’t He supposed to protect me from stuff like this? What’s wrong with God?”
“You’re lucky Jennifer. You may have really hurt your eye and been blinded for life. Why don’t you give up trying to get that pear?”
“Mom, you know how much I love pears from grandpa’s tree? That pear was the biggest, most juicy pear I have ever seen in my entire life! I could, I could have enjoyed it for several days. I know I could finish such a large, beautiful, juicy pear in one sitting but I wanted to make it last a long time ‘cause I don’t think I’ll see one that big for a long, long time!”
As a strong southern wind momentarily roared across the Oklahoma flatlands, the pear Jennifer sought came crashing to the ground with a distinct thud. When Jennifer went to the spot where the pear came to rest, she noticed more than half was missing—eaten and consumed by birds and insects. The magnificent pear was not huge, juicy and edible as Jennifer had thought.
“Is this what I nearly lost my sight over?” moaned Jennifer.
“Well, Jennifer, I tried to tell you but you wouldn’t listen to me. I could see from down here the big brown spot. When I saw that, I knew it was rotten.”
On many occasions, God tries, like Jennifer’s mother, to warn us by a variety of means (example—parents, friends, teachers, His commands and laws, and by other means) of the impending dangers that are ahead should we ignore Him to focus on sinful thoughts, acts and actions. When we are injured or fail to gain our objectives or goals in life, we blame or reject God for not getting us out of the mess or messes we initiate or immediately getting us what we want. Rather than scorn, disown or outright reject God, we should work harder to do His will joyfully with the knowledge and understanding that He will give what we need—not always what we desire.
Read more articles by Stephen A. Peterson or search for articles on the same topic or others.