The Trouble Tree
A man hired a carpenter to help restore an old farmhouse. The first day on the job proved to be a one of difficulties for the carpenter: a flat tire cost him an hour of work, his electric saw quit, he was shorter on supplies than he had thought and now his rusted out pickup truck refused to start.
As his employer drove him home he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited his boss in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree and touched the tips of the branches with both hands. Then, opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His hardened face melted into smiles; he hugged his two small children and listened with wrapped attention as they told him of the ‘adventures’ that only children can have and enjoy. He gave his wife a kiss, showed interest in the events of her day and with great sincerity empathized with her over the difficulties she faced as a wife, mother and homemaker.
Afterwards he walked his employer to the car. As they passed the tree curiosity overwhelmed his boss and he asked about what he had seen him do earlier (when the carpenter touched the tips of the branches with both hands).
Oh, that is my ‘trouble tree,’” he replied. “I know I cannot help having troubles on the job, but one thing is for sure – troubles do not belong in the house with my wife and the kids. So I just hang’em on the tree every night when I come home; then in the morning, I pick’em up again. “Funny thing though,” he said with a grin, “when I come out in the mornin’ to pick’em up, there aren’t as many as I remember hangin’ up there the night before.”
– Charles Dickens said, “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” (Ephesians 1:3).