The Unhappy Flower

The Unhappy Flower

A prize was to be given to that class in Sunday School which had the best record for attending church. That Sunday morning Robert met his class outside the Church, and just before the bell rang, they went in together. Most of the boys in his class seldom went to the Church service although they were faithful in Sunday School. The contest was bringing many from the Sunday School into the Church. The minister and teachers were hoping that the young people would continue to come after the contest was over.

In the sermon that morning Robert and his class heard a parable. The minister said that a parable was an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. This is the parable which they heard.

On a warm day in June a gardener went into his garden to plant flower seeds. The soil was dug over and raked until it was as fine as powder. The right kind of fertilizer was mixed and worked into the soil. Then the seeds were scattered over the well prepared soil. The gardener said to himself, "This soil will grow the best flowers I ever had."

After some days the little sprouts broke through the soil, then came the plants, after that the buds and finally the flowers. When the gardener saw his beautiful flowers he was well pleased. He watered and cultivated them, when he saw weeds he pulled them out by the roots. The flowers were so very thankful to the gardener, that at times he thought they were smiling at him. Yes, and one day he thought he heard one of them speak. But this could not be. Nevertheless, he turned around and saw something that he had not seen before. On the other side of the fence in hard and sandy soil, almost choked in weeds there was a flower of the same variety as he had planted in the garden but much smaller, shriveled and stunted. This little flower was speaking in a language that the gardener could understand.

"When you planted me and all the other seeds," said this little flower, "a gust of wind came and blew me through the fence. My roots had a hard time getting down into this soil. It is so dry here; the weeds are all around me and I am almost choking for lack of air. Oh, I have tried so hard to be a nice flower like the others in the garden. I am so very unhappy."

When the gardener saw and heard this he felt sorry for the little flower. He took his spade and very carefully dug around the roots in the hard, sandy soil and transplanted it to the garden. He gave it much loving care and attention. The other flowers welcomed it, and after a few weeks it was as beautiful as the others, and was very happy.

This is the parable that Robert heard that morning. He could never forget those final words of the minister, "Good Christians in the Church are like the flowers in that garden. It is so much easier to be a beautiful flower in the garden than outside the garden where the soil is hard and sandy. Likewise it is easier to be a good Christian in the Church than outside the Church."

That morning when Robert left the Church he said to the class, "Boys, hereafter I am going to Church, even if there never is a contest again or another prize given. I certainly liked that parable about the garden and the flowers."

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