I remember my summer days growing up in northwest Iowa. We played outside all day. Swimming, biking, and wiffle ball were the normal suspects. Nights were spent watching the high school boys play baseball against kids from neighboring towns. The FFA would sell fresh watermelon slices. It was the best 25 cents spent all day. The bright red fruit was cold and refreshing and delicious. Today I bite into a watermelon and it usually takes me back to those days gone by.
Today is National Watermelon Day. I had no idea there was such a thing until I read about it this morning. Watermelons, like pretty much anything else, teach us about life. Here are four life lessons from watermelons.
- There is no right way to eat a watermelon
Some people like slices. Some like cubes. Scoops of watermelon seem to be popular nowadays. No correct way to eat a watermelon exists.
There is no correct way to live a life either. Some work hard. Some play hard. Some do both. Some do neither. The world is comprised of talkers and listeners, introverts and extraverts, readers and watchers, creatives and pragmatists, Type As and Type Bs, and thinkers and doers.
Be yourself. God created you to be you and nobody else. Your biggest gift to the world (and to yourself) is to fully become your true, authentic self. And just so you know, there is nothing more cool than being genuine.
- The best watermelons have lots of seeds
New varieties of watermelon have been created to eliminate most seeds. But the best tasting watermelon still have lots of seeds. The heirloom watermelon isn’t easy to eat—but nothing beats its taste.
The best life isn’t easy. We live in a culture of entitlement and distraction. The athlete and the poet teach us something: no substitute exists for hard and smart work. One of life’s most important skills is delayed gratification. So we patiently navigate through the seeds of life and eventually experience the reward of fresh fruit.
- You can’t judge a watermelon by its cover
Some of the best tasting watermelon I have eaten have been some of the ugliest watermelons. Many of the best-looking watermelons have been very bland or too watery or not quite ripe enough.
Don’t judge people by your first impression. Take time and listen to their story. See the best in them. Offer acceptance for who they are and who they are not. Do your best to love them like God loves them. Their life will be better. So will yours.
- Watermelons have a short shelf life
A ripe watermelon only lasts a few days. Refrigeration helps a little. Freezing doesn’t help at all.
You have a limited time on planet earth. You aren’t going to live forever. So start acting like it.
Make each day count. Hang out with the people you like the most. Visit the places you want to go. See the things you want to see. Take a walk. Laugh. Pray. Be kind. Give grace. Practice forgiveness to others and yourself. Encourage others. Serve others. Create something. Listen to somebody. Worship God. And occasionally eat fresh watermelon with lots of seeds.