Summary: A story illustrating the truth of "A cord of three strands is not easily broken."

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Ecclesiastes 4:9-12



Once upon a time, there was a tall tower that stretched high into the sky. The top of the tower held a glass bowl filled with the “Water of Life.” Anyone who reached the top of the tower could drink from the glass bowl and could have one of several gifts given by the water.

One could have a great sense of belonging and feel part of a large family with shared goals and experiences.

One could have a sense of being cared for and can care for others in return.

One could have a clear conscience in life and have a righteous reputation.

One could have a faith in God that is deep and wide and sure and strong and sound.

One could have companions to experience life with in good times and in bad.

One could have a powerful filling of the Holy Spirit and real faith.

Do any of those sound good to you? All of them sound good to me?

Anyway, anyone who reached the top of the tower could drink from the glass bowl and could have any of those gifts described. The problem was that the tower had no doors, windows, stairs, ladders, or any way to climb. The tower was perfectly round and smooth. No hand holds. No places to climb.

Three people took on the challenge to reach the top of the tower. Crowds gathered to watch these three people attempt to reach the top of the tower. Each of them had trained in their own way to reach the top and receive the blessing.

First, we have a woman who decided that she would train and work to run up the side of the tower. She figured that God had blessed her with speed, coordination, and bravery and she could get up such speed that she could run up the tower and reach the top. She trained and she trained. As she trained, she got faster and faster. Her feet were quick. Her balance was perfect. She outran a horse. She outran a speeding train. She outran even the wind! She was ready.

The woman got ready run. She walked away from the tower a great distance so she could build up her speed. She began to run and started off so fast that dust flew behind her. She picked up speed. Leaves blew off the trees she was running so fast. As she approached the tower, she was at top speed and she blew spectators off their feet near the tower. The runner reached the tower and was so fast she started to run up and up and up the tower. She got about half way up the tall tall tower and her speed slowed. Every step was harder. She got two thirds of the way up and then came back down. She landed with a woosh at the bottom of the tower, unhurt, but also unsuccessful.

Second, we have a man who decided that he would train and work to jump clear to the top of the tower. He figured that God had blessed him with good feet, strong legs, and the perseverance needed to jump that high. His jumping was unlike anyone who had lived before. He jumped so well that he could jump over the lake. He could jump over his house in one leap. The day before the tower challenge he jumped over the whole town. His jumping was perfect. He was ready.

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