Contentment

It has been quite some time since I posted anything. I just felt like I had run out of things to say. But now I’m back and eager to get started again!

I read this wonderful story a few years ago out of a book called Raising Maidens of Virtue by Stacy McDonald that I would like to share with you today. It’s a little long, even though I shortened what I could, but truly inspiring all the same.

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THE FENCE DWELLERS

Once there was a Gardener who made a beautiful garden with flowers of every shape, scent, and size. Next to the garden was a rock quarry, gray and cold.

The flowers that were by the fence near the quarry began to turn their faces toward the rocks on the other side and wonder what it would be like to be strong and smooth. The flowers did not care that the rocks had no roots for who could see those? It would be much better to be big and strong so everyone could behold their powerful shape.

As they gazed upon the gray lifeless rocks, the flowers began to covet the rocks’ strength and coolness. They grew discontent with their purpose and design and began to despise their beautiful colors and delicate leaves and petals. They were no longer satisfied with their own simple beauty.

The fence dwellers began to rip off their beautiful petals and leaves and refused to produce seed since the rocks did not produce seed themselves. They covered themselves in clay to hide their vibrant colors and soon began to crouch down low to the ground, trying desperately to resemble the rocks they so deeply admired.

The older plants in the garden laughed at their foolishness. But soon, the new seedlings in the garden began to listen to the fence dwellers and they too tore their petals and dusted themselves with clay, but only halfway up their stems as they were not near as daring as the fence dwellers. The young plants desperately wished they could uproot and live next to the quarry so they too could see the magnificent boulders and strong stones.

The  boldness of the fence dwellers and the stories they told the younger plants caused a strange spirit of yearning throughout the garden. Within a short time the once vibrant colors of the garden were covered with mire. Instead of the sweet smells that once lingered, the stench of decay prevailed. The birds looked elsewhere for a home, as did the bees and butterflies.

Surprisingly, the fence dwellers did not realize they were shriveled and dying. Their bald heads were stripped of petals and the clay was suffocating their stems….yet they still yearned to be something they were never intended to be.

The Gardener walked sadly through his creation and sighed. He noticed the tender plants with clay halfway up their stems and missing petals – the result of a self-imposed deed.

“Why have you done this to yourselves?” cried the Gardener. “I created you in the way of my choosing – for my purpose. But you have rejected my ways and looked on foreigners and adorned yourselves in mud and grime. You have ravaged and exposed your own bodies.

“Do you not know that you belong to me? This was a wicked and foolish thing. You have emulated the fence dwellers and have followed after those preferring death. They have chosen cold and hard barrenness over the true beauty of a warm and tender life-giving existence. Do not mimic those of the quarry or their followers – those who never belonged to me. There you will find only death and desolation.”

The plants of the garden shivered and hid their faces; however, the fence dwellers did not hear the words of the Gardener, for they were no more. The plants who belonged to the Gardener solemnly watched as the last remnant of the fence dwellers’ decomposing stems blew quietly over the fence to rest upon a large boulder. Here the scorching sun would finish the job of destruction until nothing remained.

Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.”
Proverbs 23:17-18

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God created us in His image and has a plan for each one of our lives. We are, each one of us, special to Him. Let’s remember that any time we feel discontent with where we are in life, the way things are or are not going, or even with what we look like. God loves you!

Though the story ends sadly, it is very beautifully written (in it’s original, unshortened form) and I encourage you to check out the book as it has many wonderful lessons to teach.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!

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