Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published July 25, 2006. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.
Nothing can level hopes and dreams faster than middle age. Suddenly, reality sets in, and we have to face the fact that some of those goals we once had won’t be realized. Hopefully, better ones have taken their place.
I was lamenting about some of my disappointments and disillusionment when a friend told me this little story.
Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods.
Each was young and green and hopeful, and each had a specific dream for its future.
The first wanted to become a treasure chest filled with gold, silver and precious gems.
The second wanted to become a mighty ship and haul kings and queens to all parts of the world.
The third tree wanted to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People would see it on top of a hill and be reminded of God, the magnificent Creator.
A few years later, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. One cut the first and sold it to a carpenter who made it into a feed box for animals. The tree’s dreams died hard when the box was placed in a barn and filled with hay.
Another woodsman cut the second tree and sold it to a ship yard. Its hopes were dashed when it realized it was being made into a rough-hewn fishing boat.
When the third tree saw a woodsman approach with his ax, the tree was frightened, for being cut down would end its dream entirely.
Alas, the mighty tree fell with a loud thud, was cut into pieces and left alone in the dark.
Time passed, and all three trees gave up on their dreams. Nothing had turned out as they had planned. The dreams of their youth faded like the leaves and bark that had long since been stripped from them.
Then one day a man and woman came to the barn, where she gave birth. They placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. Years later, this tree would realize it had cradled the greatest treasure of all time.
About 30 years after that, a group of men got into the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them fell asleep before a great storm arose. The other men woke him up, and he spoke to the wind and waves, and they became perfectly calm. Little did this tree know its cargo had, indeed, included royalty — the King of Kings Himself had been on board.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree. They placed it on the shoulders of a badly beaten man, made the man carry it through the streets and then nailed the man to it.
As it stood firmly in place on the top of a hill, the tree had no idea it would for untold centuries point men and women to God.
Not one received the grandeur it had envisioned, but all were used to accomplish a small part of God’s great plan on Earth.
May we remember we are not here so that He can fulfill our hopes and dreams. We are here to make His dreams come true.