A lone shepherd’s quest to save the world

Another installment in Director of Religious Education Fred Mills’s series “A Voice from the Little Chair.”

The inspirational music has come to an end, the first hymn has raised the spirits of the congregation, and Fred is settling into the little chair. This morning’s story is based on the award-winning tale The Man Who Planted Trees, by Jean Giono.

The story is about a young man who wanders into a desolate land. He finds signs of past life, but nothing seems to be growing. There is no water. The young man happens upon a shepherd who has made it his work to plant trees. Every evening the shepherd sorts through a bag of acorns looking for the best prospects to plant. During the day, while he is with his sheep, he plants the seeds. Over time he has planted thousands of acorns. When asked why, he responds that the land seemed to be dying because it lacked trees, and that he could fix that.

The young man returned years later to find an aging shepherd who has now turned to beekeeping amid a forest of sapling trees. The land is slowly transformed, and the miracle of life returns.

This story is a good example of what one person can do — how, if given an opportunity, one person can save the world through selfless giving.

I hope you spend some time and watch the accompanying video. This is a wonderful story.