For the past week or maybe two every night I carry Hannah to bed and then she says, "Will you read me the apple tree book?"
So I read her the book, and I think I have the first half of the book memorized. Tonight I was able to read it without looking at it. Luckily it's a great story, it reminds me of our relationship with Heavenly Father. At the same time it is a perfect life lesson as the boy is always wanting worldly things, like first he comes and says he needs money to make him happy, and so the tree offers him her apples to take and sell so that he will have money and be happy. Next he wants a house and a wife, so the tree offers up her branches so he can build himself a house. When he returns sad and depressed again he thinks he needs a boat to make him happy, so the tree offers up her trunk to make him happy, and finally he returns an old and dying man, and all the tree has left is a stump for him to rest upon, and that is when the boy realizes (I hope) that none of that stuff brings happiness, but true happiness comes from US being MORE like the tree and giving, and giving, and giving. The more we forget about ourselves and instead care for others is when we truly understand love & life.
The only thing that saddened the tree was when the boy didn't come around, but when the boy was around the tree was anxious to give itself to the boy entirely. The act of giving is what constantly brought happiness and meaning to the trees existence.
So let us all give a little more, and let us all not care so much about money, cars, houses, TV's, computers, toys, & other worldly things that only bring temporary happiness as it quenches our appetites for only a short amount of time. Instead let us be anxiously engaged in helping and giving of our time, talents, and efforts to others.