Most people know Martin Luther from their theology classes and immediately think of long lectures about the Protestant Reformation and his posting theses. I hope I’m not the first to tell you that he did a whole lot more than that.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is posted right on my bulletin board, above me as I write this. “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would fall to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” Luther presents this beautifully simple quote, but it resonates with me every single time I read it. I’m not advising you to stimulate the apple tree economy, nor build a greenhouse in your backyard. The point of his quote is, in essence, “don’t wait.”
We all have things that we tend to push towards the next day’s to-do list. And the next day’s. And soon, you basically understand that you’re just not going to get it done. This kind of self-fulfilling complacency is tragic because it assumes that we will have another day. This assumption is one of the most dangerous we can make. And I know I’m not the only one thinking it. Songs like “Live Like You Were Dying,” quotes like “This is your time, this is your dance. Live every moment, leave nothing to chance,” and countless other examples all are evidence of life’s uncertainty. Each day we hear stories on the news of lives ending, yet we forget that with every breath we take, someone else just took their last.
So we really should keep up with the mentality of Luther – what are we waiting for? He gives us a challenge in that with this quote, we know the world is going to fall to pieces. We are fully aware that it’s almost over. Regardless, he encourages us to have the passion for life and the courage of heart to simply go ahead with what we wanted to do in the first place. He presents to us a chance to make our mark, even if it might fade quickly. Even if no one is able to reap the fruit of our tree, he encourages the planting of it nonetheless. Each time I look at that quote, a different “apple tree” comes to mind. So I ask you, what is it in your life that you need to just get done? What is that you have been holding out on and refuse to accomplish for fear of it not lasting, not being worth it, or not working right? What is your apple tree?