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Friday, March 28, 2008

An Uninspired Parable

There was once a young man who worked in an orchard. He always worked very hard for his master, keeping the orchard and tending his fruit. And it happened that after a particularly scorching day that his mouth became parched. He knew he could wait a short while and drink from the garden house a short walk away, where he would soon go, but he was surrounded by all this perfectly good fruit.

He reasoned to himself, "I have always worked hard for my master tending his orchard. Look here! I am surrounded by all this fruit and my mouth is dry. I will take and eat from my master’s trees that my thirst might be quenched. He will not mind, for I am his faithful servant, and behold! this fruit is almost ripe." So the young man reached to a low branch, for it was within his reach, and plucked some fruit and ate. The young man’s thirst was satisfied, but soon his stomach began to hurt and he sat in the shade of the tree waiting for it to pass.

Then it happened that the master of the orchard came walking along and saw the young man sitting in the shade with a look of pain on his face. He inquired of his servant, "Why are you sitting here with a look of pain on your face?"

The young man answered saying, "I was thirsty, and the garden house was a long way off. So, I took fruit from the tree and ate, and now I am in pain."

Then the master said to him, "What is this that you have done? I placed you in charge of tending my fruit, to nurture it until it was ripe. You, of all people, knew the fruit which was good to eat and which would make you sick, and yet you chose the fruit that was not yet ripe, for it was within reach; for you could not even travel a short distance to the house. I have long noticed your eyes gazing upon my fruit, longing to take what is mine, and now you have taken what was not yours and have become a thief. You have not only taken from me, but have taken from him for whom that fruit was intended. You set your eye upon it and you picked it before it was ripe. You removed it from its source before it was ready and now it has been destroyed and cannot be restored again."

When the young realized what he had done, he held his head in shame and asked forgiveness, but his master continued, "If you had wanted fruit you should have gone to the market where the fruit was ripe and out for sale. Instead you chose to steal from me. Though it satisfied your thirst, it has made you sick and is now destroyed, never to become that for which it was destined. Because of this you will not taste of my fruit again," and he threw him from his orchard.

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