AND so it came to pass that a farmer planted three trees in his farm.  Growing together, the trees talked with each other about their hopes and dreams.  “Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty,” said the first one.

The second tree shared, “Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull.”

The third tree has this ambition, “I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me.”

Several years later, the farmer was ready to harvest his trees.  “This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter,” the farmer said and cut it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

To the second tree, the farmer said, “This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard.”  Again, the second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the farmer came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true.   The farmer said, “I don’t know what to do with this one but I still have to cut it anyway.”

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals.  He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had hoped for.  The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat; his dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark.  The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree.  One of them was tired and went to sleep.  While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn’t think it was strong enough to keep the men safe.  The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said “Peace” and the storm stopped.  At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

Finally, someone came and got the third tree.  It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it.  When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill.  When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus Christ had been crucified on it.

Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined.  “Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements,” Napoleon Hill reiterated. 

Years ago, while unearthing an ancient Egyptian tomb, an archaeologist came upon seeds buried in a piece of wood.  Planted, the seeds realized their potential after more than 3,000 years!

“I visualized where I wanted to be, what kind of player I wanted to become,” American basketball superstar Michael Jordan disclosed.  “I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there.”

We are who we are because that is what we want ourselves to be.  Some of us would to become stars but not everyone could reach the “impossible star.”  If you cannot be a star, then be a tree that bears fruits.  And if can’t still be a tree, then be a grass.  But just don’t be contented of being a grass; instead, be the best grass of all grasses.

Don’t be a mediocre – even in the work you have chosen.  Martin Luther King Jr. reminds, “We are challenged on every hand to work untiringly to achieve excellence in our lifework.  Not all men are called to specialized or professional jobs; even fewer rise to the heights of genius in arts and sciences; many are called to be laborers in factories.  All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.  If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'”

Of course, you know Pablo Picasso.  At one time, his mother told him when he was still a teenager, “If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general; if you become a monk, you’ll end up as the Pope.” Instead, he became a painter and became one of the world’s greatest painters.

Our purpose in this life differs from each other.  But we are the one who shape our destiny.  “The human race may be compared to a writer,” Felix Adler once wrote. “At the outset a writer has often only a vague general notion of the plan of his work, and of the thought he intends to elaborate. As he proceeds, penetrating his material, laboring to express himself fitly, he lays a firmer grasp on his thought; he finds himself. So the human race is writing its story, finding itself, discovering its own underlying purpose, revising, recasting a tale pathetic often, yet none the less sublime.”

We only have one life to live in this world.  We are here to uplift our fellow beings.  We have to follow the golden rule: Do to others what you would like others do to you. You reap what you sow.

An unknown author penned these golden rules for living: If you open it, close it.  If you turn it on, turn it off.  If you unlock it, lock it up.  If you break it, admit it. If you can’t fix it, call in someone who can.  If you borrow it, return it.  If you value it, take care of it.  If you make a mess, clean it up.  If you move it, put it back.  If it belongs to someone else and you want to use it, get permission.  If you don’t know how to operate it, leave it alone.  If it’s none of your business, don’t ask questions.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  If it will brighten someone’s day, say it.  If it will tarnish someone’s reputation, keep it to yourself.”

Just remember this.  “The purpose of life,” said Robert Byrne, “is a life of purpose.” — ###