A Tale of Three Trees
(Revised by Denny Hartford)
Once upon a time, in ancient Palestine it was, on a distant mountain top stood three little trees, dreaming of what they wanted to become when they grew up.
The first little tree looked up at the stars with a soaring heart and said: “I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I’d love to be made into the most beautiful treasure chest in the whole world!”
The second little tree, bothered by being so fixed, gazed longingly at the stream bubbling by on its way to the ocean. “My dream is travel down mighty waters and across great oceans. I’d like to carry powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest, greatest ship in the world!”
For his part, the third little tree looked down into the valley below and saw men and women hard at work in their fields and in the bustling little town nearby. They were so taken with everyday matters that they never looked up at the beauty on the hills, let alone the splendor of the sky beyond. The third tree said, “I never want to leave this lovely mountain top at all. I want to stay here, put down deep roots and grow so tall that the people will just have to notice me. And looking at me, their eyes will be drawn inevitably to heaven and think of God. Yes, my dream is to be the tallest tree in the world!”
Well, many years passed and the little trees did grow firm, and straight and tall. And one day they stood out so dramatically from the other trees on the hillside that three woodcutters who had climbed the mountain gave them their attention.
One large, rough woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is truly beautiful. It is just perfect for me.” Then, without any more words, the man took a few well-aimed swings with his axe… CHOPPING…and the first tree fell. The tree could feel that its dream was about to come true. “Oh yes! Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest. I shall indeed hold wonderful treasure!”
The second woodsman looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is surely strong enough for me. I choose this one.” He too reared back and swung his mighty axe…CHOPPING…and the second tree was down too. “Now I shall sail mighty waters!” thought the second tree. “I shall most certainly have my wishes realized and sail to the world’s end as a royal man o’ war!”
The third tree, the one whose dream was only to remain where it was where it could draw men’s thoughts to God, was horrified when the last woodcutter looked its way. The man grumbled, almost under his breath, “Any kind of tree will do for me.” And with a few blows of his axe…CHOPPING…even this, the tallest and most beautiful tree in the forest, fell.
The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought it to a carpenter’s shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree…SAWING AND NAILING…not into a treasure chest to hold jewels and coins but rather a homely feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not destined for expensive glory after all; and before long it was filled instead with dry hay for hungry farm animals to eat. So much for the dream.
The second tree had also felt high hopes when its woodcutter hauled it into a bustling shipyard. However, its fate was not to be […]
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.