Thursday, September 23, 2010


Who does not love watermelon? Now don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the new seedless variety, but they are not nearly as much fun. “How so,” you ask?

Well I must have been about 3 years and 9 months old, and we were living in Bob Jones old rent house just south of Alpena, Arkansas. It was one of those old houses that had what old timers called a “Dog Run.” The house had two large rooms. One room was the kitchen, dining room, storage etc. The other room was the living room/bedroom area. Between these two large rooms was a large open hallway. That is, a hall that separated the two rooms but it was not enclosed on either end. In this house the front of the large hall was a banister overlooking the front yard, and at the back were stairs that lead into the back yard.

In those days, eating watermelon came with four rules. 1) Always eat it outside 2) Get it all over your face 3) put a dash of salt on it, and finally 4) spit the seeds as far as you could. I remember once when Grandpa and Grandma Roberts were visiting, along with Jerry and Elmer my uncles who still lived with them. Being in the summer time, after dinner (what some folks call lunch), we assembled in the front of the “Dog Run” and ate watermelon. The seed spitting part became a game, and each of us tried to out spit the other. No records were kept, so I don’t remember who won the contest. Had we kept records, it might have become an Olympic sport by now. While we were spitting seeds the grown-ups we talking. As I recall, they just seemed to talk over and over about the same thing. At least that is how I remember it. It seemed to me, upon later reflection, they were trying to say the same thing in as many different ways as possible. I learned later to call that “splitting hairs.”

Lesson: As far as I can determine there was nothing useful that resulted in all the hair splitting. But the watermelon seed spitting was a different story. Next spring there was a bunch of watermelon vines that sprang up in the front yard. So if you want a harvest of anything you have to spit (sow) the seed. Christ gave a parable of the sower and seed.

In Matthew Chapter 13 Jesus explains it this way 18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

If you and I expect to bear fruit (another believer) we must be busy spitting the seed of the Gospel. It is not a contest, but if we are engaged in the process we are all winners


Angie said...

Great blog,Paddy!
I was wondering, did grandma ever join in the spitting contest? I'm having trouble picturing that one!!

Jeff said...

Very descriptive, Uncle Ray!!

I have no recollection of a dog run, or the Roberts Family, but for some reason, I'm taken back a few years myself!!

Some split gospel hairs and some plant gospel seeds.......unfortunately, I've been more of a hair-splitter than a seed-spitter!!!!

Jeff F.