One day a young boy was walking through a wooded area and noticed all the trees were dead along the road. Then he remembered what his grandfather once said a long time ago of what happened to all the trees that are now dead.
"Grandson, always remember that you cannot benefit the world unless you abide in His vine; for if you do, you will bear much fruit. But if you do not, you can do nothing for this world and will eventually die like those trees on the road,” said the grandfather.
Walking down the path the boy could feel the dead trees’ coldness and sordid disposition. He did not like it at all, and felt uneasy as he walked past the dead trees, which seemed to overshadow the very path he walked on.
As he continued walking, he noticed a large tree filled with bright, green-colored leaves, which were raised far above the ground by the tree’s massive trunk. And the boy also had noticed there were many large figs on the tree branches surrounded by beautiful, pure white blossoms that gave forth a sweet fragrance.
The boy walked up to the tree and eyed its beautiful blossoms and was amazed at the size of the figs on the tree’s branches.
Now, the boy was very hungry because he has not eaten yet since the beginning of his journey. He thought to himself, “I would love to have some of those figs.”
Then suddenly the tree spoke, “Little boy, would you like to sit down next to me and have some of my figs to eat?”
With excitement in his voice the boy quickly said, “Yes!”
The boy sat down under the tree and leaned against its massive trunk. Together, the leaves and the trunk provided a large shade to keep the boy cool from the hot sun. Soon after the boy was comfortable and resting, the tree gave up some of its figs for the boy. And the boy immediately grabbed them up and began to devour them quickly because of his hunger.
“Oh, how sweet the taste!” the boy said. “I have never eaten such a fine fruit like these figs.”
The tree was glad the boy enjoyed its fruit and said, “I am happy you are enjoying my fruit. I have prepared them for children like you. Enjoy and rest my friend.”
After the boy ate, he got up, and earnestly thanked the fig tree for allowing him to eat some of its fruit.
“Thank you, Sir. You have filled my stomach and now I must continue down this path,” said the boy.
The fig tree replied, “I am always here, along this path. You only have to stop and ask of me, and I shall give up my fruit.”
As the boy walked away, his hunger satisfied, he looked back and waved to the fig tree. He thought to himself, “I must stop by every day to sit down in the shade and enjoy some more of the fig tree's fruit.”
Now, as time went by the boy always made the effort to visit the beautiful, large fig tree daily, and eat of its fruit, while sitting at the base of the trunk, enjoying the cool shade given by its blossoms that filled the air with their beautiful fragrance.
And while the boy relaxed and ate, the tree enjoyed his company as well.
Indeed, the fig tree loved the boy so; evidenced by the fruit He gave the boy each day, without want and expectancy; giving His blessings freely.
One day, however, the boy visited the fig tree and said, “I am in a hurry today, just give me some of your fruit, and I’ll be gone. I promise, on my next visit, I will sit in your shade and listen to your beautiful poems.”
With understanding, though filled with sadness, the tree gave up its fruit for the boy.
“Here you go my son,” the fig tree said while handing the boy some of its fruit. “Take what I freely give. Enjoy. All you have to do is ask...and I will freely give to you.”
“Thank you, Sir,” the boy responded. “I will make sure to stay longer on my next visit.”
When the boy left, the fig tree began to cry and prayed to His Father in Heaven:
“Father, you are in me and I am in you, may this boy be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me among these dead trees. The beautiful blossoms and figs that you have given me I have given to the boy, so that he may be one with us, as we are one, I in him and you in me, that he may become completely whole, so that he may know that you have sent me and have loved him even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those dead trees around me, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, filled with blossoms and figs, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
As the days gone by, sadly, the boy did not keep his promise to sit in the Tree's shade and listen to His poems that described His Love and mercy. When the boy did stop by to visit, he only asked for more fruit and quickly scurried away when he received his gift, to go after his youthful passions and ambitions along the path. In his haste, the boy did not comprehend the Tree's poems to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, and to learn to obtain a pure heart.
One day, the boy stopped by the fig Tree, which was filled with many figs, and the vines were adorned with blossoms that gave forth a beautiful fragrance. However, he did not take notice, but only asked for more fruit.
The boy said, “Do you remember what you promised...‘Take what I freely give. Enjoy. All you have to do is ask...and I will freely give to you’...do you?”
“Yes, I do,” said He.
“Then give me some more fruit. For I am hungry and I have to walk a long distance along this path.”
As the fig Tree handed down the fruit to the boy, He said, “Take what I freely give. Enjoy. All you have to do is ask...and I will freely give to you.”
After taking the fruit, the boy quickly ran away, not even a “thank you” from the boy's lips. He only cared about the sweet taste of the figs, and getting to where he was going along the path, and forgetting Who provided the sweet figs in the first place.
With quick steps, the boy hurried down the path. But as he scurried along, he did not notice that one of the dead tree's roots protruded in the middle of the path.
The boy's right foot hit the root.
“Ouch!” yelled the boy, as he stumbled and fell forward on the path, letting go of what fruit he had left.
He slowly began to get up and suddenly he felt sharp, stinging pain in his legs. He turned his head and his eyes widened with fear!
“My legs...my legs!” he screamed.
For the boy's legs were turning into dead branches, just like the ones on the dead trees along the path.
Then suddenly, he began to feel his own coldness and sordid disposition, and remembered, too late, what his grandfather had said:
“Grandson, always remember that you cannot benefit the world unless you abide in His vine; for if you do, you will bear much fruit. But if you do not, you can do nothing for this world and will eventually die like those trees on the road,” said the grandfather, and added with caution, “and with that you will become like their current state” ♠
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