Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Parable of the Sturdy Pillar

Once there was a big beautiful palace. In the center of that palace was an ornate room of the kind you only find in fairy tales. In the middle of that room was a large and very sturdy pillar. It was beautiful pillar, but it it was just a pillar. And as with some stable things in our lives, it was sometimes taken for granted.

One day, the king looked at the pillar and called for the carpenter. "Here now, I think I need a bit more room in here. Be a good chap and shave a bit off the right side of that pillar." So, that is what the carpenter did. He painted it all up and no one ever knew the difference. They barely noticed the slight wobble in the floor above.

Many years later, the queen was planning a ball. She wanted plenty of room for dancing. She called for the carpenter. "I need more room. Please take a bit off the left side of that pillar."So that is what the carpenter did. He painted it all up and no one ever knew the difference.

Several years later, the prince was having a fencing tournament. He thought he needed more room. So, he gave a royal command to the carpenter to take just a bit more off that pillar. So, that is what the carpenter did. He painted it all up and no one ever knew the difference. Though, when the wind blew off the ocean in just the right way and one was on the floor above, some thought they could feel the floor shake just a bit. But everyone knew this was nonsense because it was a well built palace and had a nice sturdy pillar in the middle of the room below.

As you might have guessed, there was also a princess. She was getting married. So, of course, she wanted her wedding in that very special room with that pillar. But there were so many guests that there wasn't quite enough room for all the chairs. She looked at that pillar and called for the carpenter. "The wedding is only a few days away. Quick now, I need more room. Take some off the pillar." So, though he thought better of it, that is what the carpenter did. But he was beginning to wonder how much more he could take off that pillar and still call it a pillar.

The night of the wedding all the quests were assembled. The bride and groom exchanged vows. So that everyone in the kingdom would know the wedding had taken place, the king commanded that 100 drums and 100 trumpets ring out. So, at just the right moment just before the kiss, the king gave the signal and the drums and trumpets rang out. They were so loud the whole room, the whole palace reverberated.

With a sudden crash, the ceiling gave way. The guests below just barely escaped. And the king called for his carpenter in a fury. He asked, "How could you let this happen? I thought this was a solidly built palace and with a sturdy pillar at the center!"

The carpenter stood tall. "I only obeyed royal orders, sire. But it seems that every few years someone commands that I take just a bit more off that pillar. But no one ever stopped and asked or gave a thought as to what that pillar might be holding up!"

The moral of the story: Before you move a pillar or shave anything off, be sure you know why it was put there and what it might be holding up. If you are careless and whittle a pillar away, you may find yourself scrambling when the ceiling gives way.

There are, of course, many pillars in our lives: diet, exercise, learning, and such. But more importantly, are the spiritual pillars like time with God, prayer, and meeting with other believers. But just like the royal family, we whittle away our pillars. We get up too late for a quiet time. When a friend asks for a prayer, we promise to do it later but other things crowd it out of our mind. Sometimes we think, "Sunday is a day of rest, so I'll just stay here a bit longer. God wake me up if you want me to go to church." Or we may think that listening to Christian music is enough to turn our minds to God and things above.

But God is our pillar. When we let things whittle away the spiritual pillars of our lives, we shave away important pieces of our life with Him.

Be careful not to move a pillar without finding out exactly what it is holding up or you know exactly what you are giving up! Thus ends the parable of the sturdy pillar.

Disclaimer: Can't say that I've ever tried to write a parable before, but the thought stuck with me and I thought I would try it out on all of you!

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mark savage said...

Amy, Great job at your first attempt. Your words are very descriptive. Now I need to think about my pillars. :)


Elwoods said...

I thought it was great, Amy. I was interested all the way to the end. Thanks.
Denise (we sat at the same table the first night of she speaks) : )

Anonymous said...

this was really great. The whole time I was reading it I wondered where you had gotten it from. I really enjoyed it... and it tied right in to the things in my life that I have been working on through the study I am doing through the Beth Moore website, and through counseling.
Hmmm, pillars. more to think about! :)
God bless,

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Before I read the disclaimer (not necessary, by the way), I was going to say, "Did you write this?"
Wow. Very good. We don't want the ceiling falling in on us, do we? Excellent storytelling and moral telling. :)

cautious1 said...

Great parable - God has given you a true gift for writing. Hope the second one is just as good as the first one! :)

tiggerdaisy said...

Great job! Good LESSON! :) I love parables and had thought about writing one are an inspiration to do just that! :) :)

Prayers and blessings,