Story with a Lesson

   Posted by: Admin  in Church

I wrote the following little story for a talk in church.

A long time ago in a far away land, Jacob, a master woodworker, huddled over his work bench, knife working smoothly across a block of wood, comfortable on his old stool. Around him, the apprentices worked diligently on their projects. Eventually, his attention turned to the three young boys and their projects.

Little Timothy’s stool had four legs, each coming out of the seat at slightly different angles, and each a different kind of wood. Timothy sat on it, smiling from ear to ear. “I knew I could do it master Jacob!” he exclaimed.

“Indeed,” Jacob responded, “that seat looks very thick and sturdy.” He noticed that Timothy wobbled a bit as he wiggled around in his excitement. He might fall over, but Jacob knew that Timothy responded best to positive comments. He would break down in tears and not be able to accomplish anything for the rest of the day. Jacob smiled back at him and patted him on the head.

Jacob next moved over to stand in front of Jonathan, his oldest apprentice, who beamed at him as Jacob examined the fine workmanship. “I am going to give this to my mama to sit in when she rocks little Benjamin to sleep at night.” The chair had a high back and four sturdy legs on curved runners that would allow it to rock back and forth. The wood felt smooth under Jacob’s calloused hand. It seemed to radiate warmth; it had obviously been made with lots of love.

“I know your mother will be very happy with your gift,” Jacob replied. “It is your best piece yet.”

“Thank you master Jacob,” Jonathan replied. “I can’t wait to see the look on my mama’s face.”

Finally, he stood in front of Simon and his stool. It was simple, with two sturdy legs attached. Simon was busy measuring and cutting a third leg. He went back and forth between his measurements and the third leg, triple checking before making the cut. He was the slowest worker Jacob had ever had, but his work always turned out to be sturdy, functional, and beautiful in its simplicity. Simon had not yet noticed him.

“So, Simon, why is this one taking you so long?”

“What?” Simon glanced up. “Oh. I am making a stool like yours. I hope that everything is going to hold together.”

Jacob saw the excitement, love, and expectation glowing in Simon’s eyes. “With that kind of hope, Simon, your stool will last throughout your life.”


I used to write stories, or poems, like this all the time when I was younger and had a talk to give in church. It was always fun to do and made the talk more interesting  to give. I’m a little out of practice with it, but I think it turned out okay.

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