Monday, January 17, 2005
There is an old but wonderful tale that begins in the 1930s with a young traveler who was exploring the French Alps. He came upon a vast strech of barren land. It was desolate and forbidden. It was the kind of place you hurry away from.
Then, suddenly, the young traveler stopped dead in his tracks. In the middle of this vast wasteland was a bent-over old man. On his back was a sack of acorns. And in his hand was a four-foot length of iron pipe.
The man was using the iron pope to punch holes in the ground. Then from the sack he would take an acorn and put it in the hole. The old man explained to the traveler, "I've planted over 100,000 acorns. Perhaps only a tenth of them will grow." The old man further explained that his wife and son had died, and this was how he chose to spend his final years. "I want to do something useful," he said.
Twenty-five years later the now-not-as-young traveler returned to the same desolate area. What he saw amazed him. He could not believe his own eyes. The land was covered with a beautiful forest two miles wide and five miles long. Birds were singing, animals were playing, and wild flowers perfumed the air.
The traveler stood there recalling the desolation that once was; a beautiful oak forest stood there now - all because someone cared.
It sounds like a wonderful tale. We say, "Bravo to the old man!" and then dive back into our busy day. "What a nice gesture," we say to ourselves, "if I only had that kind of time..."
Most likely you are already an Acorn Planter yourself, but just don't stop to realize it.
Are you accomplishing a daily task that benefits others? Then you're an Acorn Planter, my friend.
Find yourself in a continued routine that involves children? Then you're an Acorn Planter, my friend.
Frustrated at a social cause but continue to work at it? Then you're an Acorn Planter, my friend.
Lifted a spirit today or calmed an anxious soul? Then you're an Acorn Planter, my friend.
Trying to better the world in some small way? Then you're an Acorn Planter, my friend.
It is true that we may never... most likely, we WILL NEVER see the fruition of our daily tasks, continued routines and social interventions in this lifetime. And that's okay. Faith has never been built on seeing, but primarily on believing.
You're an Acorn Planter, my friend. You are a believer! You are a believer that the harvest will be rich, someday, but your only focus is today. Step and plant, step and plant, believe, step and plant...
Thank you for all the acorns you have planted along your days.
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