The Parable of the Tree

by Anton Purr

Deep in the heart of a very old forest existed an ancient tree. Etched into the bark of this tree was the greatest wisdom of the universe. Within that wisdom lay the meaning of life. Many came from far and wide just to catch a glimpse of the Tree's wisdom. Yet while many people gazed upon the words of the Tree, the way they received it in their hearts was one of 4 different ways.

The first group of people read only small portions of the text and quickly rationalized that these words couldn't have any relevance to their lives in the present. They concluded that it could have been written by anyone and continued in their lives with little to no influence of the Tree's wisdom.

The second group of people misinterpreted the writings completely, yet their passion drove them to share their newfound beliefs and practices with anyone who would listen. They gained countless supporters in the process.

The next group of people did not even bother to read anything written on the Tree and decided to worship it and the surrounding forest instead.

The smallest of these groups was the fourth. They were the only ones to read the wisdom of the Tree for what it truly was. Tirelessly, they studied its words and applied it to their lives. With that, they gained the meaning of life.

As time passed, bitter wars began and opposition against the Tree mounted, Those who misinterpreted the text had convinced their followers of the need to destroy the tree. With legions of people, they ventured through the forest and began cutting at the Tree's bark. In astonishment, they quickly realized that every stroke of the saw was completely ineffective, as not even a scratch had been made on the Tree's bark. Tired after many hours of attempting to destroy the Tree, the people finally left and decided to burn down the forest instead. Hours later, as the smoke of the fire faded away from the destroyed forest, there stood the Tree, completely unscathed. Great wars, earthquakes, and famine soon followed, bringing death to many. What was once a beautiful land had been turned into an empty and lifeless foundation. The only thing remaining in this cold and broken world was the Tree.

The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.. This is why I speak to them in parables: `Though seeing, they do not see, though hearing they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. For the people's heart has become calloused: they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear" (Matthew 13:10-11; 13-16).

A tree

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, JanFeb03.