Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How The Great Oak Fell - a Parable About Sin. James 1:14-15

How the Great Oak Fell
A Parable About Sin.
This is a story to illustrate to the deceitfulness of sin in our lives. I wrote it for a Youth Sunday School Lesson on the Epistle of James. 


There was once a great forest. It was a marvelous forest and stretched on for miles like a living green carpet covering rolling hills and valleys. It was full of wildlife and birds. Hunters enjoyed it as a rich place for game. Woodcutters often found the wood of the forest to be sturdy and desirable. The trees of this forest were huge and healthy because of the rich soil and moderate climate. Of all the trees one was king- The Great Oak. It towered over the other trees in the forest with branches and limbs stretching wider than any other. It was the abiding place for many birds and small animals. Under the shelter of its branches people often found refuge from rain and sun. The branches and limbs made the space beneath it like a cathedral and was a chapel chosen by many lovers to exchange wedding vows. It was the place where musicians composed melodies, poets wrote lofty rhymes, and philosophers dreamed. Lanterns would be hung from its boughs and tables set for celebrations and joyous gatherings.

The oak was strong as well as mighty. Even though woodcutters would often fell a great tree such as this one none ever succeeded in spite of their mightiest efforts; their axes would dull and their saws would break. The greatest storms and hurricanes would devastate the forest and bring down scores of trees but never the great oak. Fire would ravage the forest leaving the Great Oak scorched but standing. Floods would wash away lesser trees, boulders, and even mountainsides but not the Great Oak. It withstood all disasters through many generations.

One afternoon the sky grew gray with thick cold clouds and the air became hard with icy cold bitterness. A single fluffy wet snowflake spiraled down to silently alight on the topmost leaf of the highest branch of the great oak, followed by another, and another. Snowflakes slowly drifted down swirling as they fell like tiny white feathery dancers. Flake after fluffy flake silently landed on soil, rock, bush and the Great Oak. Soon the forest was white with the falling snow. Slowly and silently through the long cold afternoon the soft snow fell. The thickness of falling snow darkened the sun's light. Snow fell as the day slipped into the stillness of a black night and yet the snow continued to fall.

One flake by itself was no matter to the great oak, but slowly the branches began to sag under the weight of thick wet fluff. The limbs groaned and bent low, and the great oak began to bow as an old man under a heavy load.

In the morning the clouds had passed by exhausted giving way to a beautiful blue sky, and the sun rose shining brightly over the white shapeless form that had been the forest. The sun's light revealed a ruin. During the night the weight of snowflake upon soft snowflake had done what no other power could do, it had destroyed the tree. The branches had creaked and groaned under the tremendous weight until they snapped off. Each great limb gave way under the tons of snow leaving only the broken trunk standing in a field of white wreckage, sad and pathetic.

Beware of the little sins, they add up. "But each one is tempted when by his own evil desire he is dragged away and enticed, Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown gives birth to death." James 1:14,15

(C)Adron Dozat

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