By Sister Tarpley
On a mountaintop, three trees dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.
The first tree looked at the stars and said, “I want to hold a treasure; be covered with gold and filled with precious things. I’ll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world.”
The second tree looked at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. “I want to travel mighty waters and carry powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world.”
The third tree looked at the valley below where busy men and women worked in town. “I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all.
I want to grow so tall that when people look at me, they’ll raise their eyes to Heaven and think of God. I’ll be the tallest tree in the world.”
Years passed; the rain came, the sun shone and the trees grew. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain.
The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful, it’s perfect for me.” With a swing of his ax, the first tree fell. “Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold a wonderful treasure!”
The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong, it’s prefect for me.” With the swing of his ax, the second tree fell. “Now I shall sail mighty waters,” thought the second tree. “I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings.”
The third tree’s heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to Heaven.
But the woodcutter never looked up. “Any kind of tree will do for me,” he muttered. With a swing of his ax, the third tree fell.
The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter’s shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed trough for animals.
The tree was not covered with gold nor filled with treasures. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for farm animals.
The second tree smiled when she was taken to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and weak to sail an ocean, or even a river; instead she was taken to a lake.
The third tree was confused when the last woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard.
Many days and nights passed; then one night, starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feeding trough. 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 fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the boat quietly sailed on the lake.
Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The tree shuddered; she knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the storm; the tired man was awaken. He stood up and said, “Peace, be still!”
The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And the second tree knew he was carrying the King of kings.
One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were taken from the woodpile. She was carried through an angry jeering crowd. The soldiers nailed a man’s hand to her; she felt ugly, 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 third tree strong.
And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. This was better than being the tallest tree in the world.
The next time you don’t get what you want, sit tight, be patient and be happy because God has something better to give you!