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Becky Pippert tells a wonderful story, an old legend really or three trees that make this very clear for me. “There were once 3 ambitious trees on a mountain who were small and were talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up. The 1st tree said, "When I look at the stars and see them sparkling.. well, when I grow up I want to be made into a treasure chest and have sparkling diamonds and gems within me. The 2nd tree said, "When I look at the water running into the stream I think about the ocean. I want to be a powerful sailing vessel carrying the kings and queens of this world across the water." The 3rd tree said, "When I look into the village and see the busy people I just want to stay here and grow to be the tallest tree in the forest, so when people look at me, I’ll be pointing to God.

Years past and eventually the woodcutters came and felled the trees. The 1st tree was delighted because he was taken to a carpenters shop but then devastated because he wasn’t made into a treasure chest but instead, made into a feeding trough for animals. No diamonds but hay, grain where animals slobber and feed. The 2nd tree was delighted when he was taken to a ship yard, but then devastated because he wasn’t made into an ocean vessel but a fishing boat- no kings and queens, just smelly old dead fish. The 3rd tree was devastated to be cut down at all but even more so when he was simply cut into beams and discarded onto a lumber pile and forgotten.

The years went on & the dreams were shattered & forgotten. Then one day the tree that was a feeding trough saw a young couple come into the stable in Bethlehem and give birth to a baby. They wrapped him in clothes and placed him in that trough, that manger and the tree realized that he held the most precious treasure of all. Sometime later that little fishing boat was carrying a handful of men across the sea of Galilee. A terrible storm erupted and a man who was asleep was awakened and he stood up and said, "Peace, be still," and the storm stopped. That 2nd tree realized that he was privileged to carry the King of Kings. The 3rd tree who had been discarded on the wood pile was one day placed on the back of a man who carried him through jeering mobs and then the man was fastened to it. That 3rd tree wept in despair because he felt so ugly. Until the 3rd day when the earth trembled with joy beneath it and people rejoiced in a resurrection and the tree realized that, as the Cross, he would always point people to God.”

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