One fine blue sky day a traveler pulled in to a rest stop.
As he climbed stiffly out of his car, he spied a man
not too far away, snoring like a buzz saw
as he reclined peacefully under an apple tree.
At that very moment the traveler saw a snake
slither onto the sleeping man’s chest and into his mouth.
The traveler immediately raced over to the sleeping man
and began pelting him with rotten apples from the ground
while screaming “Eat! Eat!”
The poor man startled awake,
his dream shattered like cheap glass.
“What are you doing, man?” he cried,
but the traveler picked up a large stick
and began beating him, still yelling “EAT!”
In fear of his life he began to wolf down
the pungent, rotten fruit. This went on for awhile.
Eventually the stick-bearing traveler began hollering
“Run around the tree! Run around the tree!”
The frightened man complied, his eyes bugging out,
as the stick rained down upon his back and shoulders.
Soon the man began to retch and vomit
as he raced and was chased around the tree,
and the traveler saw the snake spew out
amongst all the rotten apples and slither away.
He threw down the stick, exhausted from his efforts,
took a few steps from the tree and sat down heavily.
The tormented fellow threw up a few more times
then went over to the weary traveler and cried
“Why did you treat me so badly?!?
What did I ever do to you?!?
How would you like it…” and on like that.
Finally the traveler stood up again and replied,
“I saw a snake crawl down your throat
and was afraid if I told you outright,
you would die of fright.
I made you eat the bad apples and run around
until the snake fell out from you
and you were safe.”
Think about this parable the next time you feel
you are suffering needlessly.
God knows what He’s doing, O sleeping one.
Trust in His perfect plan.