A cactus stood all alone in the desert, wondering why it was stuck in the middle of nowhere
"I do nothing but stand here all day," it sighed. "What use am I?

I'm the ugliest plant in the desert. My spines are thick and prickly, my leaves are rubbery and tough, my skin is thick and bumpy
I can't offer shade or juicy fruit to any passing traveler. I don't see that I'm any use at all."

All it did was stand in the sun day after day, growing taller and fatter. Its spines grew longer and its leaves tougher, and it swelled here and there until it was lumpy and lopsided all over. It truly was strange-looking.

"I wish I could do something useful," it sighed.
By day hawks circled high overhead
"What can I do with my life?" the cactus called
Whether they heard or not, the hawks sailed away

At night the moon floated into the sky and cast its pale glow on the desert floor.
"What good can I do with my life?" the cactus called
The moon only stared coldly as it mounted its course.

A lizard crawled by, leaving a little trail in the sand with its tail.
"What worthy deed can I do?" the cactus called
"You?" the lizard laughed, pausing a moment "Worthy deed?
Why, you can't do anything!

Even I, the lowly lizard, have something to do. I decorate the sands with these beautiful brushstrokes as I pull my tail along

At last the cactus grew old, and it knew its time was short
"Oh, Lord," it cried out, "I've wondered so long, and I've tried so hard
Forgive me if I've failed to find something worthy to do
I fear that now it's too late."

But just then the cactus felt a strange stirring and unfolding
and it knew a surge of joy that erased all despair
At its very tip, like a sudden crown, a glorious flower suddenly opened in bloom

Never had the desert known such a blossom
Its fragrance perfumed the air far and wide and brought happiness to all passing by
The butterflies paused to admire its beauty
and that night even the moon smiled when it rose to find such a treasure

The cactus heard a voice
"You have waited long," the Lord said
"The heart that seeks to do good reflects My glory
and will always bring something worthwhile to the world
something in which all can rejoice - even if for only a moment

"But we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulations worketh PATIENCE"
Romans 5 vs 3

Author Unknown
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Fran G. 3-5-06

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