“I’m hungry, I want lunch,” Aspen whined.  I pulled some tomatoes out of the fridge to make salsa for lunch.  I heard my neighbor’s voice from the foyer asking, “Where are you?  Can I come in?”  “Sure, come on in, I’m in the kitchen,” I replied.  Aspen stood expectantly looking at us.  “I have a secret,” my neighbor said.  I looked at Aspen and told her to leave us alone for a few minutes.  Aspen reluctantly left the kitchen.  My neighbor whispered  she was taking her kids to an orchard and Aspen was invited if she wanted to go.  I was invited also if I could go on such late notice.  My plans for the afternoon changed instantly.  Fixing salsa for lunch and helping Brett for the afternoon were erased and replaced by a few quick peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and an afternoon at the U-pick orchard.

We piled into a couple of cars and a short drive later pulled up to the orchard.  The aproned woman working the farm store told us we were too late in the season for  apples or raspberries, but she did have some pumpkins in the pumpkin patch.  We were disappointed, but didn’t let it deter us from enjoying a perfect fall day of 75 degrees and sunshine.  We sat down at the picnic tables, pulled out our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and dug into the chips and dips.  After eating, chatting, and watching the kids play on the playground we all wandered through the butterfly garden on our way to the pumpkin patch.

Bright orange pumpkins dotted the brown fields and a foul odor wafted across the air.  When we got closer we could see that many of the pumpkins had begun to rot.  The kids began their hunt for the perfect pumpkin.  Some pumpkins were obviously rotten, sporting gaping brown holes in their sides.  Others looked fine until they were picked up for closer inspection.  Even more appeared fine on the outside, but had soft spots to the touch indicating they were beginning to rot on the inside.  The kids finally found their pumpkins and we checked out at the farm store, adding fresh pressed apple cider to our wheel barrel of pumpkins.

All those pumpkins sitting in the pumpkin patch reminded me of us.  Some of us are quite obviously rotten, others of us look fine on the outside but have varying degrees of rottenness on the inside and then there are those who have not rotted, but have remained firm.  All the pumpkins received the same amount of sunshine, fertilizer, rain, and time, but some began to rot while others remained firm.  Some rottenness started from the outside, while others looked fine on the outside but had started to rot from the inside.

I was also reminded of Jesus disciples.  They all spent time with Jesus.  The sunshine, fertilizer and rain of His presence grew their characters.  But Judas, while appearing fine on the outside was rotting on the inside.  John 12:6 says he was a thief and as keeper of the money bag helped himself to it.  Instead of letting the presence of Jesus change him, he held onto his sin and ended up like the rotten pumpkins in the pumpkin patch.  Eventually his rottenness spilled out for everyone to see and the putrid odor of his actions filled the air.

No one wants to be a Judas.  His name has gone down in history with infamy.  Take a look inside your heart today.  If you were a pumpkin sitting in a pumpkin patch what kind of pumpkin would you be?

“God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, He forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.” 1 John 1:9 Gods Word Translation