Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Tale of Three Trees

The Tale of Three Trees

      Once upon a mountaintop, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted. to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars twinkling like diamonds above him. “I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I will be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!" The second little tree looked
out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean.. "I want to be a strong,sailing ship,” he said. I want to travel mighty waters and carry 'powerful kings. I .will be the strongest ship in the world!” The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and busy women worked in a busy town. “I don't want to leave this mountaintop at all,”she said: "I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me they. will raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world!” .       Years passed. The rains came, the sun shone, and. the little trees grew tall.
      One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain.
The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop 'of
his shining ax, the first tree fell. 
     ''Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest,” thought the first tree. I shall hold wonderful treasure.”
The second wood
cutter looked at the second tree and said, This tree is strong. It is perfect for me.” With a
swoop of his ax, the second tree fell. 
     ''Now I shall sail mighty waters,” thought the second. tree, “I shall be a strong ship fit for kings!" r '
The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed
bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter never even looked up, “Any kind of tree will do for me,” he muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax, the third. tree fell.'
.     The first tree rejoiced when 'the woodcutter brought him; to a carpenter's shop, but the busy carpenter was not thinking about treasure chests. .Instead his work worn hands fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals.
The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold or filled with treasure. Hi was coated with sawdust and filled with hay for hungry animals.
    The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took him to the shipyard, but no mighty sailing ships were being made that day. Instead the once-strong tree hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. Too small and too weak to sail an ocean or river, he was taken to a little lake. Every day he brought in loads of dead, smelly fish.
    The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in the lumberyard.
What happened?” the once-tall tree wondered. “All I ever wanted to do was stay on the mountaintop and
point to God.”
Many, many days and nights passed. The three trees Nearly forgot their dreams.
But one night golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed
    I wish I could make a cradle for him,” her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful,” she said.
    And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.
One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake.
Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. He knew he did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and rain.
The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. 
      And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the King of heaven and earth.
    One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry, jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her.
She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.
But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that
God's love had changed everything.
It had made the fist tree beautiful.
It had made the second tree strong.
And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God.
That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Twas the week before Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas and all through my house
All the kitties are scrambling to undecorate the tree
The stockings are packed away in a sack
In hopes of surprising my kids on the road

We're taking the holiday to my daughter and friends
As Laura is working and cannot come home
So Will and I are driving to San Francisco or bust
In my Jeep sleigh packed tight with our holiday load

I'm leaving instructions for pet sitters to read
I'm hoping the kitties don't trash the whole house
If they can be good they'll get some new toys
For Minny, Penelope, Amy and Toad

So for all of the elves who are busy right now
Just remember it's Christmas and Joy's in the air
Enjoy every minute you spend with your kids
To all who are traveling may you have a safe flight!