The Quarreling Tools

The Quarreling Tools

A gardener had a garden in which he spent a great deal of time. In one half he grew many varieties of flowers, and in the other half he had vegetables. The garden gave him much joy. His whole family relished the fresh vegetables from this garden. The beautiful flowers he cut for bouquets not only for his own home, but also for his friends and for homes where there was sickness.

But recently the garden was not what it formerly was. The ground was hard, the weeds were growing fast, and the plants were not as healthy as they should be. It was very plain that something was wrong.

One morning as the gardener went into the tool shop to get the garden tools he found them all quarreling among themselves. It was a very noisy place for they were all talking at the same time. In the confusion one could not understand the other. The gardener who had entered unnoticed by the tools watched the quarreling, very much grieved. Suddenly the tools saw him, and then much ashamed they were all very quiet. The gardener came nearer and then in a low, sad voice said, "What is this all about?"

At first no one spoke. Then, several of them looking at the hand plow said, "The ground in the garden is so hard because he does not dig deep enough into the soil." The hand plow made angry by this accusation, pointed at the spade and said, "If he were not so rusty he could do more to loosen up the soil." To this the spade replied, "The hoe is lazy and expects me to do more than my share." Then the hoe shifting the blame to someone else said, "The rake only goes over the surface and does not pull the weeds the way he ought to." "But," answered the rake, "you cannot expect me to pull all the weeds. If the trowel would get the weeds next to the plants, I would not have so much to do." "But, look here," replied the trowel indignantly, "how can I get close to the plants when the dull shears do not prune the lower branches?"

The gardener listened patiently to all their accusations and complaints. No wonder the garden had recently shown signs of neglect. The ground was hard, the weeds were growing, the branches needed pruning, with the result that the garden was in a poor condition. The tools did not keep and dress the garden. Instead they quarreled amongst themselves; they did not work together.

But the gardener had come to make the garden beautiful and fruitful. There was much work to be done; there was no time for quarreling. He took the handplow and turned over the soil, up one row and down the next. He used the spade to make holes for transplanting. In the hands of the gardener, the hoe loosened the soil between the plants, and the little trowel worked where the hoe could not get. He used the shears to give the plants a much needed pruning. And with the rake he gathered together the weeds and loose branches to be carried away. At the end of a long, hard day, it was a different looking garden. Every tool was needed to make the garden beautiful and fruitful. Yes, the gardener needed all those tools; he had a work for each one.

This world is one big garden, and God is the gardener. God has a work for each one of us as the gardener has for the tools. When the tools quarreled with one another nothing was done in the garden. And when we quarrel with one another we cannot do God's work in this world.

There is so much to do in this world. There is much unhappiness, trouble and grief. People in the same home will quarrel with each other. Nations go to war to kill one another. These things should not be. They are weeds in God's garden. There is so much good we can do in this world to make it better. And when these things do not get done, we should not blame each other as the tools did. Each one of us has a work to do in this world. Let us go ahead and do it, and in that way we are all working together.

Notice, also, that the tools had to be in the hands of the gardener in order to do their work. It is so with us. We must be in the hands of the great gardener God in order to do our work well. Then we will not only work together but we will work with God. The Bible tells us that we should be "Workers together with God."

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