A Johnny Appleseed Psalm
Crabapple Blossoms, Ellsworth, Maine
My Grandmother used to say, “A watched pot never boils.” Spring in Maine is a bit like that. The more one looks for it, the longer it takes! But when it eventually arrives, it does so with a dramatic explosion of beauty. By late May, flowering apple trees grace yards, highlight country roads, and bring new life to old fields and orchards. Their blossoms always remind me of the legendary Johnny Appleseed, an eccentric whose real name was John Chapman. He was an orchard man who planted apple orchards from West Virginia through the mid-West into Canada. His work inspired imaginative anecdotes and ballads about his sowing apple seeds throughout the countryside. As a kid, I learned a catchy little nursery rhyme ditty about him but never gave it much thought until some years later when our friends sang this little verse for a meal time blessing with their children:
“Oh, the Lord is good to me,
And so I thank the Lord,
For giving me the things I need;
The sun and the rain and the apple seed.
The Lord is good to me…”
This song is an amazingly theologically sound and powerful prayer which acknowledges God as Creator, Sovereign and Sustainer of all the earth and expresses gratitude for His goodness, His sufficiency, His personal attentiveness, and His common grace to all. In child-like simplicity, it becomes a profound worship filled Psalm of thanksgiving and praise. Like spring blossoms, it fills us with wonder!