Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
Even if it’s a story, it has a deeper meaning
In a forest there were three trees. Each one of them had a wish of its own for itself – a perspective.
The first tree wished to be worthy to become one day a beautiful, elaborately carved coffer, where to be kept a precious treasure. This was its wish and its perspective.
The second tree wished to be worthy to become a great, nice, imposing ship, driven by a skillful sailor and to transport kings, high officials and dignitaries on the sea.
The third tree said that the only thing it wished was to become the highest and the strongest tree from the forest, so that the people seeing its height on the top of the hill would think about heaven and God.
Years passed and things have evolved quite differently. The woodcutters went and cut the first tree. And though it had dreamt of becoming a nice carved coffer for keeping precious treasures, the carpenter made a manger from it, for the food of the animals.
The second tree that wanted to become a nice ship and to transport kings became a small fishing boat owned by some poor fishermen.
The third tree that wanted to be the highest from the forest was cut by a carpenter and stored in his storehouse.
Years passed and the trees, desperate because of the way things evolved forgot about their dreams.
But one day a man and a woman got in the stable where it was that wooden manger with straw. There the woman gave birth to a baby boy and she put him in that manger made from the first tree. They were Saint Joseph and the Holy Mother of God. And thus in that manger were not put only diamonds and gold, but was laid God Who made Himself Man for us. Therefore that manger was worthy to receive within itself the most precious treasury of all, God Himself.
In that small fishing boat made from the second tree, after many years, went some fishermen and One of them, being tired, lied down to sleep. While the boat was on the sea, a big storm burst out. The boat was not that strong to resist the heavy waves and the other fishermen woke the One who was sleeping. He got up and commanded the stormy sea to stop, by saying: Be quiet! Be still! And the sea became calm immediately. It was Christ with His disciples on the Sea of Galilee. Thus the second tree, that wanted to become a big ship and to transport kings and high dignitaries, became worthy to carry the King of kings, Christ himself and His disciples.
And the third tree, that was in the storehouse of the carpenter one day was taken away and they made a cross from it. And on that Cross they crucified Christ. Thus the tree became much higher than it had wished. It reached the heaven and God. It became, as we say in a troparion, like heaven.
In the end, the three trees from our story gained not only what they wished but much more. Only not in the way they had imagined and planned themselves.
This story tells us that: We don’t know the will of God for us. But we must never forget that whatever God ordains for us is much more preferable and useful for us than anything else. It is good to make dreams for ourselves. But we should not forget that things don’t evolve the way we’d like them to and God ordains things in such a way that they become much better than we have imagined they could be.
Have faith! Faith and trust in God.