Orange You Glad?

Juicy and sweet and renownedOrange Pie for its concentration of vitamin C, oranges make the perfect snack and add a special tang to many recipes; it is no wonder they are one of the most popular fruits in the world. The benefits of this wonderful fruit include antioxidant protection and immune support, protection against cardiovascular disease and cholesterol-lowering benefits! Granted, when they become part of a dessert, some of these benefits may be diminished, but sometimes the sweet treat is worth the trade-off, don’t you think? Alone as created, oranges are great! But mix them up with other ingredients, and you can have a delicious and appealing dessert!

Orange Creamsicle Pie
(Yield: 2 Pies, Serves: 16)

Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
16 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup orange juice
1 (4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
1 (3 ounce) box orange gelatin
2 (6 ounce) prepared graham cracker crusts

Directions:
Soften cream cheese at room temperature starting a couple hours before making your pies; the cream cheese must be super soft in order to avoid lumps in the pie filling. Blend cream cheese and frozen whipped topping well; add orange juice and beat with mixer until very creamy; stir in pudding then gelatin and blend well. Divide filling between graham crusts; chill at least 3 hours before serving. Decorate with whipped cream and thinly sliced oranges if desired.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:Food for Thought
In this case, the orange was joined with other ingredients to make a delicious dessert, but the trade-off was the nutritious benefit from the orange alone.  Sometimes our desire to align with other people or other things in an effort to gain popularity or recognition is not in our best interest and may even injure those around us.

A Parable:  A lone orange tree, in the midst of a vast apple grove, was so impressed by the beauty and popularity of his surrounding neighbors; he yearned to be just like them. With great unhappiness, he looked upon his dimpled, tough exterior and then gazed longingly at the apples’ smooth, shiny red skins. “Surely”, he thought, “they are more palatable and easier to eat than my fruit which has to first be peeled before anyone can even bite into it!” So in an effort to become like them, when the wind would blow, he’d lean his limbs towards the branches of the nearby apple trees, rubbing up against them, hoping a transfer would take place that could change him … but nothing happened. So he pressed his roots further and further out towards the roots of his neighbors, thinking if he could intertwine with theirs, perhaps that would be the thing that would change him … but an orange tree he remained.

One day he saw a man walking past him carrying a ladder and a bucket of red paint. “Excuse me, sir,” the orange tree said. “Where are you going with that paint and for what purpose?”  The man replied “Goin’ up yonder to paint that barn on the hill. Why do you ask?” The tree, with much excitement, told the man of his desire to be like all the other trees around him and asked “Would you be so kind as to bless me with a little of your time and materials, and cover my oranges with that brilliant red paint you are carrying?” The man, feeling sorry for the tree and wanting to be of help, agreed to do so and climbed upon his ladder to begin the painting process. After several hours, every orange on the tree was totally covered in red paint. “Thank you, sir,” the orange tree gratefully cried. “You have satisfied the desires of my heart and now I am completely content and gratified.” The man smiled, nodded, and went on his way.

Many weeks later a group of children were walking through the apple groves, looking for the orange tree they had heard resided there. Because their town was surrounded by only apple groves and all of the orange groves were hundreds of miles away, oranges were very difficult and expensive to come by.  Though the children were looking forward to the unique and wonderful taste of a juicy orange, their primary purpose was to help a little boy who had accompanied them in their search for the orange tree.  For months, their beloved little friend had been battling scurvy, and as he struggled to walk upon weakened, bowed legs, his friends led him carefully along, filled with hope that a fresh source of vitamin C would bring healing to his body. With eagerness, they came to the place where they had been told the tree was located, but to their dismay, found only the remains of a withered tree with streaks of red running up its brittle limbs and down its splintered trunk. At the base of the tree lay shrunken circles of dimpled red paint.

Hungry, unfulfilled and with their hopes dashed, they held the hand of the sick little boy and made their way back to town.

The Parable of the Story:  Dissatisfaction with our God-given gifts, an unhealthy envy and misplaced longing (encourage by the good intentions of unwise “helpers”), can destroy God’s true plan and purpose for our existence, leaving destiny unfulfilled and lives impaired by the lack of spiritual “nourishment” we could have provided.

1 Samuel 16:7 says “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 says “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

“Orange” you glad you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, perfectly created to bring Him glory? Created in His image, He thinks you’re beautiful! Who are we to disagree?

–Cheri Henderson

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