The Parable of the Woodsman
The Woodsman and the Rings
The village of Mor was a very special place, for just outside of town stood the tree of the prophet. This tree was over 6,000 years old and had been planted by the Messiah himself.
How did the villagers know this? It had been revealed to them by the holiest man in town, their leader. This revelation was so important because it contained three truths; 1- their leader was indeed a prophet of God (how else could he know the age of the tree?) 2- since they had a prophet, they must have the truth, and 3- the people of Mor were indeed a cut above the rest; why else would the Messiah himself plant a tree in their village?
In the same village there lived a woodsman. One day he noticed an interesting thing while chopping trees. Each year a tree would grow a new ring, and every two years it would grow an inch in diameter. It occurred to him, he could now prove to himself (as well as the rest of world) that the village of Mor had a true prophet! But as he started his investigation his heart sank, in fact he got a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, for the tree of the prophet was not nearly big enough. In fact, it couldn’t be more than 80 years old!
He finally confided in his dear friend, a member of the ruling council. His reaction was unexpected, “why are you messing with this, counting rings and measuring diameters?” he replied. “There is only one way to find the truth, and it is not with measuring tapes and arithmetic. It is in following the prophet.”
However, other villagers started to count rings and measure diameters. And people started to talk.
The woodsman’s friend gave a speech at the monthly meeting, he humbly proclaimed “the only way to determine the age of a tree is through prayer.” And then he threw this in for good measure, “be very careful of those who spend too much time alone in the woods, for we all know the devil himself has been seen in those woods.”
Again the villagers began to talk. Except this time it was not about counting rings and measuring diameters, it was about the woodsman.
In the end, the poor woodsman was driven from the village. Their leader added another reason as to why they had the truth – opposition. And the village Mor, well it doubled in size due to the increased publicity of the whole affair.