Around Christmas, I get sentimental. As a writer, I find using inanimate objects as the subject of my inspirational message friendly stories. Below is a story of a tree who felt forgotten at Christmas. Being driven by faith, faultering and getting back up is a message we all have experienced. Enjoy my telling of “The Undecorated Tree” by Caryn Elizabeth.
Every Christmas Tree Is Special
Christmas time is filled with sparkle around most homes and towns. Lights, candles, wreaths, tinsel, garland, ornaments, toys, window shopping, even parades.. But there was once a Christmas tree that felt forgotten.
Around Thanksgiving, the family took out their decorations and hung lights outside on window wreaths. Inside, the garlands were lighted and laid out across the buffet and the mantle. The candles were placed on the Christmas table cloth and the little candle wreaths were laid carefully atop the glass holders.
The 3 foot decorated Christmas tree was removed from the storage closet and placed carefully on the buffet where it was plugged in and ready to celebrate.
Everything was looking great! The spotlights outside shown on the bare leafed trees and towards the front door covered with Christmas garlands and pine cones. Inside the bare Christmas tree was left opened and standing but without any decorations.
This beautiful tree , quite frankly, felt abandoned. Everyone passed by it day after day not even noticing it’s beautiful branches. It’s smell was vibrant yet it longed for attention. Several days passed and the Christmas tree thought she heard word of new lights! “Perhaps those lights will be for me”, she said! “I love getting presents and that would make me even more beautiful so that everyone would look at me.” This tree had a problem, you see!
The Problem of the Christmas Tree
Christmas trees pretty much look alike. Some are tall and others small. But all of them have similar green branches. The only difference the tree can bare is it’s outward appearance. Some trees get very beautiful adornment while others get the bare essentials. But in the end, it’s not even the tree that gets the most attention. It’s the gifts under the tree that are given top priority.
So What is the Tree to do?
The Christmas tree knows full well that the short life it has to be adorned is it’s crowning glory! This tree longs for it’s adornment yet it seems so long in coming. In the mean time, the simple branches are left to hang bare and wanting. Well, finally the day came when the glory of Christmas would shine through the lights and garlands this tree would bare.
She indeed was correct. Those lights were for her! The Christmas practitioners wanted to adorn her with fresh lights and garlands to make her glory even brighter than in the past! The day came and she could feel alive and vibrant as each light and ornament was carefully hung to make the tree fuller and brighter!
Oh, when each ornament was hung, she stood strong and held on to each as if it were life and death. Each piece of tinsel sparkled as she held her lights firmly in hand as if to jump rope with them.
When the tree was finally finished the feeling of heaviness came over the tree. She knew the time was coming and she must have some water to keep her strength. Would she be fed or neglected?
The Neglected Christmas Tree
The feeling of neglect overwhelmed the Christmas tree this season. She worried that she would not be decorated. Now she worried that she’d not have her needs met. Would she have to drop some ornaments to get attention and quench her thirst?
The following morning, after a restless night upholding her perceived burdens, the Christmas practitioner awoke and turned on the radio and some Christmas music. The Christmas tree was aroused with hope and the caregiver walked by. Plugging in the Christmas lights, the caregiver disappeared to the kitchen and returned with a large container. “Ahhhh, water”, thought she. And in no time, her strength mounted and she felt the refreshment that only water can bring.
In time, the tree held many packages under it’s wings and protected everyone from onlookers. The children danced around it and begged mother to let them sleep under it the night before Christmas eve. What excitement the Christmas tree felt at that prospect. All eyes would be on her and she would feel terrific.
There wish came true as they grabbed their sleeping bags, cookies and milk and lay at the foot of the tree looking at all the sparkles. Christmas tree was in her glory getting the attention she longed for and knew it was what she was born for!
The final stages came to be and Christmas day came. The tree released each gift with pride knowing her job was about complete. Her wish came true. She was adorned and she bore the responsibility well. In time, as trees know, they must be released back into the wilderness to assist the baring of other Christmas trees.
Her day was complete and the Christmas caregivers dealt fairly with her through the whole process. She was satisfied with her work and Christmas was a success for her and for the family she shared it with.
Moral of the story: Every Christmas Tree Is Special! And every person is too! We may think poorly and feel we lack purpose. As we allow ourselves to be aroused with hope for a prosperous future, in the perfect time, our purpose is realized! Christmas can be everyday!
Though my DMP contained elements of Legacy, I hadn’t named it as a PPN. It may be time. A couple days ago, with the revelation via Grace of God, I wrote a short story. Elements are based on real facts and also a combination of other peoples realities. This I hope gives something for everyone to read and enjoy!
Legacy Leads the way!
“The Carpenter’s Son” short story is about a mans desire to leave a legacy for many generations to come. I’ve included an audio version below.
Once upon a time there was a carpenter who had a son. This father was very skilled at building and of course desired that his son learn the trade and enjoy the prosperity and satisfaction that his life gave to others. Lets go back to the beginning.
In order to see what this man desired for his son, we must understand how he felt about what he did.
The Carpenter’s Day
A carpenter’s day began with his morning ritual. Of course, he had written down what he needed to do that day, some time before. Why is this important? Because these would be among the skills that he’d teach his son! And the results would be evident!
Each day the carpenter would kiss his wife goodbye, gather his tools and his plan and either go to his carpenters shop or to the place he’d present his work to his customers. His plan included a deadline for completion and gathering the materials to complete his work. It was so easy for the carpenter because he had learned very early this skill. His dad was a tradesman too!
Wood fascinated this carpenter. Wood of all kinds; hard wood, soft wood, grained, rough, smooth, dark and light. The cross grains of how God made the trees he’d use and the tools he’d gathered from his dad, granddad and stores, flee markets and even antique dealers, all became part of this mans purpose to build what suited his customer.
The customer became his focus for he had learned from his own dad that service to others was most important. His skill meant very little unless he understood what his customer wanted. It took a great deal of time for the carpenter to truly understand his customer but he didn’t skimp on this. Everyone has a purpose for what they required the carpenter to build and he knew that meeting that need was what satisfied him most!
The Carpenters Weekend
Each Saturday, the carpenter would sleep in more than on weekdays. His children knew dad needed rest and time to spend in quiet. His children learned to eat and go outside to play or spend time in quiet like dad catching up on sleep and relaxation from a busy week. The afternoon was dedicated to his home, repairs, and spending time with his children.
He took his wife’s love for granted which he felt was ok to do. He loved playing ball in the big side yard, catching whatever his son would toss. He got a lot of exercise running after wild throws and loved encouraging his sons ability to focus, persist, and have faith and be grateful for these times.
Dad and son grew to be very close and there was nothing his son didn’t trust to his dad. At different ages, there were different conversations but dad had been a kid once too and understood that love for the experience of being a dad was most important. After all , he learned this from the experiences he wished he had with his dad. The carpenters desire was to please his dad and be like him!
The Carpenter’s Childhood
When the carpenter was a very young child he knew his dad loved him. As he got older, he became a bit insecure of why his dad pushed him so much. The carpenter felt he’d be easier on his children when he’d be a dad himself! The carpenter’s dad grew up in a time where great sorry and loss of jobs left many hungry and without places to live.
He worked very hard at jobs for harsh employers knowing that it would only be for a short time and then he could start his own business. This business would be passed on to the carpenter. And as his father got older, the carpenter did continue to manage his father’s business!
But the carpenter also wanted to pursue new adventures and do new things a little different.
The Carpenter’s Work Life
This Carpenter would rather work with his hands than sit at a desk , read a book or type on a keyboard. In school, he got in trouble for pulling on a girls hair, looking out the window imagining great adventures like hitting the home run, riding his bike, climbing a tree or tossing stones in the lake! He fidgeted at the table after gobbling up his food so he could go out to play.
In church, he’d ask to light candles to keep from boredom! He may not pay attention to the message but somehow magically knew what the reverend meant. His amazing skills were developed at an early age and he saw visions of creations he’d one day make for himself. His unique way of seeing the world and enjoying life was demonstration of his faith and gratitude.
He didn’t know how much faith he had and to him, they were petty details. He just lived and had fun! His dad taught him to work hard and earn the living he created by giving others what they wanted the best way he knew to create the life he wanted.
The Carpenter’s Wife
Any woman who would live with the carpenter had to be confident. The carpenter had a dream of the perfect woman. He knew she’d find him if he worked hard. She was very special and understood the carpenter’s nature.
She knew that her home would be perfect and anything broken, he’d fix. She knew that she’d be loved because the carpenter took such care in anything he worked at. She understood boys, having brothers of her own. In fact, her dad was a carpenter as well. It was easy for her to talk to him about his work and he was very excited to share all he was doing.
She enjoyed listening, sometimes wishing she could be there with him in the shop or on the job! She was very creative herself and always had projects to keep herself occupied with.
The Carpenter’s Children
Being a father to his son, the carpenter’s vision had always been to pass the family business on. Of course, second to that was his desire to pass on his work ethic , being faithful and having fun. The carpenter was blessed with one son and one daughter. His first born son was his pride and joy. He adored his beautiful daughter but his son’s future was in his hands if he would continue the legacy his father wished.
When his son was old enough to walk, he took him into the woods and showed him the wonders of nature and the animals he’d respect. Others, he’d one day hunt for. The carpenter taught him the names of trees and the kinds of bark to identify them. When his son was old enough, the carpenter let him watch as he felled a tree he’d use to build furniture.
His son became aware of how to use nature’s resources to increase his income. He’d learn to get paid for what others were unskilled or unwilling to do. This gave his son an edge that would make him very wealthy.
The Carpenter’s Legacy
The carpenter wanted his son to be an even better carpenter and man that he was. He leaned on his trusted skills learned from his father to carry him through his own lifetime. Knowing that new tools and techniques would replace some of his, he hoped his son would use them and desire his grandsons to be even better carpenters than both of them.
However, work was not the only thing that mattered to the carpenter. He also wanted his son and grandsons to come to be men of faith. He wanted them to carry on the family traditions of Christmas and Thanksgiving he passed down from his family heritage. His faith compelled him to push his son to stick with school, to work on studies and read to learn all he could. He wanted his son to love his own wife as he’d seen him love his mother.
Through good times and bad, he desired his son to understand the need to forgive as God forgave him when he sought his own way. The carpenter was not perfect. He’d failed in life on many occasions by overworking and misusing his affections on others. This carpenter desired his son to learn from his hard lessons, not to repeat them.
Knowing that a son is liken to be like the father, he felt it better to focus on work and if busy enough, he’d have no time to do wrong. Sometimes it worked! He didn’t want to pass those things on but realized that the man his son would become would have to take responsibility for his own faith and happiness.
The Carpenter’s Death
The carpenter’s life was too short for his son. Not knowing when it would be his time to go, he kept working and enjoying every bit of life he could. It was a wake up call to the son and a time of testing for his faith. Through the toughest part of his life as yet, the carpenter’s son would change forever. Not knowing why God would take his father, he dug further into his work. He would keep busy and try to forget!
In time, through his own temptation, the son came to the knowledge that he had responsibility for his own faith. He found pleasure in the laughter of a good sermon joke. He found favor with a woman of great faith who he came to love and respect after the end of his first marriage. He recovered from the difficult turns in his life. He discovered that true unconditional love is always near. He learned to love himself as if a new carpentry technique he’d implement into his work life.
He discovered that part of life his father tried to teach him about caring for what lasts; The legacy that is greater than a perfect piece of furniture. Rather the legacy of becoming perfectly loving and accepting of the imperfections in oneself. With the latest techniques, our legacy becomes the culmination of skills, talents, strengths and weaknesses. And it’s all okay!
God’s a Carpenter Too
Every life matters to God. Short or long, what we pass on to our children is what they pass on to their own children. The carpenter did the best he could with all he knew from his own dad. His skill was impeccable. His talents made him a sought after friend. His son loved him dearly and his daughter knew the kind of man she would marry because he showed her daily.
What is not well known about the carpenter is that when he was a child, he struggled to live up to the expectations of his own father. In childlike ignorance, he believed he disappointed him on many occasions and this delayed his confidence in himself. He longed for adventure and love and couldn’t see it in the actions from his parents. He knew he’d do things differently when he was a dad, and this resistance to see his lovableness showed up in his weaknesses and misadventures.
After many years, he did learn to forgive himself for believing a lie. He forgave his parents as he knew one day his children would have to forgive him. And he did make sure his son knew his love the best he could and hoped his son would have faith in himself.
Where do children get the idea that they are not loved? Some take responsibility for their parent’s actions as though it is their fault somehow. The scripture speaks of “the sins of the father being passed to their sons”. Only the grace of God awakens a change in men. This grace awakened a change in the carpenter. Though his life was short, he always longed for his son to know this grace and pass this faith to his own children.
This legacy was the true purpose this carpenter gave his son. A confident man is not born. He is built. The carpenter bore his son from the raw tree in the wood. He felled him, chopped him, honed him and created a beautiful masterpiece he could be proud to serve the world. We are not just creators of things. We are co-creators with God of people! Our children may become our greatest masterpieces!
The carpenter sacrificed his life but before he left, he created a masterpiece. His son would carry on his legacy to make masterpieces of his sons! These sons will serve all humanity and create their own legacy which will continue until the end of time!
We of the twentieth century worship a God of Love in theory, but in practice we make for ourselves “graven images” of Wealth,” “Power,” “Fashion,” “Custom” and “Conventionality.” We “fall down” before them and worship them. We concentrate on them and they are thereby externalized in our lives. The Master Key Pt. 17 Intro.
Any person of intelligence must have checked on himself to be sure they are worshiping the correct thing. In the 17th chapter of The Master Key, we’re cautioned as students not to mistake the symbols for the reality. We’re to be interested in the causes, rather than effects, concentrating on the realities of life, and then not be disappointed in the results.
What Images Are You Focusing On?
As we who have dominion of all things, it makes sense that our mental world is the keeper of that dominion. The kinds of images I focused on this week varied. I do believe most of them were in keeping with my definite chief aim. Focusing on love in all things, I wrote “Brincely The Brave”, a story about the courageous life of a newborn baby. In previous posts, I shared that part of my DMP was realized on a Christmas visit with my family.
Concentration, we’re told is much misunderstood. There seems to be an idea of effort or activity associated with it. Haanel says it’s in forgetting our self and instead embracing the character we are playing. As I wrote the story, I concentrated on words that in the future those reading it would be inspired by. Was it work? Well, I was inspired by much of it. The work came in the activity of adding photos. Creating a book uses time. I enjoyed the vision of Brincely looking at pictures of himself in the book, as his Mommy read the words aloud. The story is meant to inspire all of us.
The Images of Brincely
I reflected on my grandson to check to see if he was a graven image I worship. I decided that he is a darling boy and that I worship the love I receive from his smile, from his movements. I am so excited that one day very soon, he’ll gain his freedom and run around the house chasing kitty cats!
Images We Cry For
“There is always the cry “to have” but never the cry “to be”. We’re taught that we cannot have one with out the other, that we must first find the “kingdom” before we have the “things added.” A little boy cries to have his needs met. I know I have whined at times to God to have my needs met too! However, I am learning to see myself as one who already attained those things I desire. I am practicing “being” that person. Then there is only the demand (the having attained) and the surplus (the manifestation).
Here is the PDF file of “Brincely the Brave” for you to read. It’s 31 pages with lots of large pictures. Please give me feedback on it in the comment section. It’s always appreciated. The story is simple and there is a moral. Brincely is born brave. In order for him to accomplish all he has in his first year, he must see himself (the kingdom) as already having attained it. Let’s learn to be brave and give ourselves permission to “be” who we desire. Then all of what we want will be added unto us. If a newborn can do it, then it should be easy for us! Right?
If you like this, perhaps you would like this!
I had a nun in high school who gave me a poster before I graduated that said “Don’t just stand there! BE”. Though the images of her are vague, the reality of her words have echoed in me for many years and I believe she knew something I had yet to learn.
This weeks reading about the cycles of life as stated in Haanel’s The Master Key, reminds me of the studies a friend did on the biblical calendar. Each month represented a different phase of life and the biblical scholars of that time lived by the cycles.
The Master Key Part 16 Introduction states:
“Those familiar with these cycles will not be disturbed when things seem to go wrong, but can apply the principle outlined in these lessons with the full assurance that a higher law will invariably control all other laws, and that through an understanding and conscious operation of spiritual laws, we can convert every seeming difficulty into a blessing.”
From what I’ve read, the years past 49 of the Septimal law (cycles of 7 years), are periods of reconstruction, adjustment and recuperation and then harmony.
The Millennium Cycles
Our later years include a time of harmony which anyone gaining on 50 will have opportunity to experience in these life cycles. Though it seems also that at this age, the time past raising of children, for the most part, it begins a time of new beginnings. This should be very exciting for this age group. How many of you at this age sees your life in this way though?
New Beginning Cycles of Harmony
When we are born, during the 1st cycle of life, we are in harmony, due to the miracle began at birth. Og Mandino states:
“I can accomplish far more than I have , and I will, for why should the miracle which produced me end with my birth? Why can I not extend that miracle to my deeds of today? I am nature’s greatest miracle. I am not on this earth by chance. I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand.”
We’re told that many great works were done by men and women after the first 7 cycles of life. This new millennium or new beginning after the age of 50 is actually a time of reassessing our harmony and having the faith of a child at Christmas!
A child’s courage at birth and infancy is astounding. My grandson Brincely in his first year of life, opened his eyes boldly, cried out and was fed, smiled and learned how to please others with his love. He strove to eat by himself, speak a new language, control his body parts, crawl and stand by himself, explore every part of his body, with his chief aim to be free of the floor, his vision is to walk and run everywhere and anywhere! I imagine his PPN is liberty and recognition for creative expression!
While a child’s first year is a challenge, even an infant has the courage and stamina to gain leverage on life. He knows not defeat. It becomes easier each year to overcome the difficulties. Knowing we were once under one year of age, what more can a person upwards of 50 do? Perhaps we can find a child to be our mentor and learn from him.
I wonder if my daughter has told her Brincely that he’s nature’s greatest miracle. Does he just know it? Will it become covered over in time as so many of us experienced? Not on my watch!
The First and Eight Cycles
I identify with my grandson as we are both in similar cycles of life. It’s a new beginning for us both. We are nature’s greatest miracle. And nature knows not defeat. Eventually, she emerges victorious and so will we, and with each victory the next struggle becomes less difficult. We are whole perfect strong powerful loving harmonious and happy.
Wealth and Cycles
While Brincely receives toys, which are the utility of exchange value, the real wealth for us both is the exchange value; his smiles and love and my hugs and affection towards him. My chief aim in life is not to give him toys, which are tangible and measurable. But to develop a relationship with him that goes beyond the toys, one that is eternal. A relationship which lasts through all our life cycles.
True Harmony and Happiness
One day, each of us having been an example for each other, I’ll move on and he will take my place as the greatest salesman in his world. His smiles, love, affection, health, truth, and abundance will carry on the legacy of love God intends for us all. But for now, I’ll sell my heart to him with all I’ve got! And we will dance around the room singing silly songs about something we just did!