a talk written by Debra Woods
Once there were two trees that grew side by side on a hill next to a pretty pond at the edge of a city. One was straight and tall and had a bushy head of leaves. The other one was twisted and gnarled and the leaves were small and scattered. One night there was a fierce storm. The wind blew, and it poured down rain and hail. In the morning, the beautiful tall tree was lying flat on the ground, knocked over by the wind. While the twisted old tree had lost a few more of it's leaves, but was still standing.
A young boy and his grandfather noticed the trees as they walked by that morning, "Grandfather," the young boy began, "Why would Heavenly Father knock down that big tall pretty tree and leave the ugly old twisted one standing?"
The old man paused for a moment and then he said "That old tree was here when I was a boy before there was a pond close by and a sprinkler system to water the plants. There was a drought back in those days, and the trees had to send their roots deep into the ground to find water. Every spring there were strong winds that whipped across this hill before the tall buildings were built that now break the wind. That old tree toughed it out through many long years before they made this into a park and planted that young tree. Now these trees are protected from the spring winds and are watered three times a week. They are sprayed for bugs and trimmed each year so they can spend all their energy putting out new leaves. They have a pretty perfect life wouldn't you say?"
The boy nodded, but was still confused. "So why did the pretty tree have to die when it was so happy here?"
The grandfather stooped next to the tree where it was uprooted. "See these roots . . . they got all they needed right at the top of the ground. They had no need to dig down deep for water or to hold on tight on a windy day. But the storm last night was more than the tall buildings or fences could break, and this tall tree just didn't have deep enough roots to stand up against the wind."
The boy shrugged his shoulders and took his grandfathers hand. "I guess that tree had it too easy didn't it Grandfather?"
"I think you're right" the old man said.