There are two images in this blog. They are both one photo I snapped just before my Godson and I climbed this tree just for laughs and giggles. But the two ways the tree is seen in these two photos tells a story. It is an old story, often quoted in sermons, about perspective. The story goes a bit like this:
” On the crest of a hill sat an old man on a bench watching the passers by hiking from the last town to the next. As a man approached him on his journey he asked the man on the bench “What is that town like up ahead?” The man on the bench said ‘Well…what was the last town like?” “It was terrible” said the traveller “the people were mean, the streets dirty and the food terrible.” Well, said the man on the bench. This town will be terrible because you will find that the people will be mean, the streets dirty and the food terrible.
An hour later, a second traveller arrived at the crest of the hill and, encountering the man on the bench, asked brightly, smiling “What is the next town like?” The man on the bench asked him his views on the last town. “It was marvelous – charming, friendly and delightful.” The man on the bench smiled slightly to himself and said “Well, you are in luck! This next town, you will soon see, is marvelous – charming, friendly and delightful.”
Lent is not so much a time to ask what sins have I committed or what sins are others committing or how good a person am I or how bad a person am I. Lent is a time to ask if I can see and appreciate what God has accomplished and how marvelous it is and how responsible I am to contribute with acts of great kindness. Is this tree dead or is this tree just perfect for climbing on a sunny day?