Recently, we came across a beautiful little children’s tale that we desire to share with each of you. It reminded all us of the true focus of Holy or Easter Week. The original story seems to be from an unknown source. The stories powerful portrayal of aspiration, humility, usefulness, God’s sovereignty and more, make it a fitting story for Easter.
The Tale of the Three Trees – Once upon a mountaintop, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they would become when they grew up. The first tree beheld the stars in the night sky and said, “I want to hold riches. I want to be filled with precious gems and be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!” The second tree looked at a nearby stream trickling down the slope on its way to the ocean. “I want to be traveling mighty waters, carrying mighty kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world!” The third tree looked down into the valley below where men and women labored each day in their town. “I don’t want to leave the mountain,” it said. “I want to grow so tall that when people look up at me, they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.”
Years passed. Each tree grew taller and stronger, until one day, three woodcutters climbed to the summit. One woodcutter cut down the first tree. Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, the tree thought. I shall hold the most glorious treasure! The second woodcutter chopped down the second tree. As it fell, the tree thought, Now I shall sail the ocean and be a vessel for kings! Finally, the third woodcutter hewed the last tree. The tree’s heart fell as it did, knowing that now, it would never grow taller or point the way back to God.
Meanwhile, the first tree was brought to a carpenter’s workshop. But instead of being made into a treasure chest, the carpenter shaped it into a feedbox for farm animals. And instead of being filled with gold and silver, it was filled with hay. The second tree was brought to a shipyard, just as it hoped. But it was not turned into a great sailing ship. Instead, it was sawed and shaped into something much smaller: A mere fishing boat. And instead of being taken out into the ocean, it was instead towed to a nearby lake. And the third tree? It was cut into multiple planks before being left in the lumberyard.
Months passed. The trees aged but did not grow, thinking only of their dying dreams. Until one night, the stars once more shined down on the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feedbox…and called it a manger. And suddenly, the first tree knew that it did indeed hold the greatest treasure in the world. Years passed. The second tree floated on the lake every day, wishing it were in the open water. Until one evening a group of travelers spent the night on the boat. That night, a storm broke out. The waters of the lake tossed the boat about like massive waves in a stormy sea. The boat creaked and groaned, fearing it would sink. But then one of the travelers awoke, stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm vanished…and the second tree knew it was carrying the king of kings. Not long afterward, the third tree was abruptly pulled from the lumber yard. It was carried by many hands through a crowd, then thrust on top of a kindly-looking man to carry. It shuddered in horror as it was then set upright, while soldiers nailed the man’s hands and feet to it.
This is not what I wanted to be, the tree thought. I wanted people to look at me and think of God. But then the tree heard the man whisper, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And suddenly, all the tree felt was love.
A few days later, after the sun rose and the darkness vanished, after the earth trembled and then was still, the third tree knew that everything had changed. And that when people thought of it, they would always think of God.
On behalf of everyone on the Dove Investments team, I wish you a very Happy Easter Weekend!
He has Risen, He has Risen Indeed: