An old favorite from my file of treasures...
The Parable of the Three Trees
Three trees on a wooded hill were discussing their hopes and dreams. The first tree said, “Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. People could fill me with gold, silver and precious gems. They could decorate me with intricate carvings and everyone would see my beauty.”
The second tree said, “Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the seas and sail to unknown places. Everyone will feel safe because of the strength of my hull.”
Finally, the third tree said, “I want to grow up to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of a hill, look up to my branches and think of the heavens and God. They will remember me as the greatest tree of all time.”
After years of praying that their dreams would come true, a woodsman came upon the trees. At the first tree he said, “This looks like a strong tree. I can sell the wood to a carpenter.” After being cut down, the tree was happy because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest. At the second tree the woodsman said, “This looks like a strong tree. I can sell it to the shipyard.” The second tree was also very happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came to the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if he was cut down, his dreams would not come true. The woodsman said, “I don't need anything special from this tree so I'll just take it back to my woodpile.”
When the first tree arrived at the carpenter’s shop, they made it into a feed box for animals. It was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. At the shipyard the second tree was made into a small fishing boat. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark.