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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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The Flower

A gardener decided to design and plan a perfect garden. In it he placed only the most exotic hedges, shrubs, and flowers. In the very center of the garden, he planted a rare and beautiful pearl orchid.

He sprinkled brightly colored pebbles around the orchid. Every day the gardener gently raked the stones away so he could fertilize, till, and water the soil. Then he replaced the pebbles in new and intricate patterns.

One day, the orchid noticed a sparkling pebble to the left side of her stalk. The pebble was such a deep amber that it almost glowed. All day the orchid admired the gem, but when the conscientious gardener removed the pebbles the next morning so he could till, the pebble disappeared. He'd moved it out of the orchid's sight.

But the orchid soon became fascinated with a turquoise pebble on her right. As she admired it, it dawned on her that when the gardener returned, this pebble would disappear too. So the orchid devised a plan to hold onto her treasure. All night she labored to pull one root out of the ground and place it over the turquoise pebble.

It worked. The next time the gardener tilled, watered, and fertilized, the turquoise stone stayed right where the orchid had put it — under her root.

Next the orchid admired a fiery red pebble directly in front of her. Eager to add to her collection, she placed a root over it, too. The next day she found a spotted pebble; and the day after that, a clear pebble.

Day after day the orchid hoarded more pebbles, each time pulling a root out of the ground to hold them in place. And at the end of a month, much to the gardener's dismay, the orchid suddenly fell over, withered, and died.

Doesn't this sound familiar to what Jesus was teaching in Luke 12:13-29?

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward