A man went to find God in an old forest. He walked for days through vast tracts of wood and meadow, until he came upon a rot-smoldering stump. He sat down on the stump as it seemed a convenient chair to wait for god. Well, he thought this could be the stump of the tree Eve took her temptation from; or it could be the olive tree that Noah’s dove took the leaf off of; or it could be the tree they cut the cross from to hang Jesus from; or it could be what’s left of last year’s Christmas tree. Whatever its genealogy, he found it to be a splintery old log; but he figured enduring the discomfort of splinters in his butt would show discipline and spirituality. He figured god would appreciate his endurance.
He sat on the stump for days as the wind bellowed lonely hymns around him. Bear and deer foraged in the small meadow nearby. He did not speak to them, because they were hardly worthy of the notice of a man searching for god. Besides, if he was talking to bears, he might not hear the still small voice of god. He wanted to be ready when god finally spoke to him. The ants and bugs living in the old stump, walked all over him; and at first he squashed them because they distracted him from the concentration of his seeking; but then he began to think that killing them kept him too busy to hear god when he spoke, so, he, finally, mostly ignored them. He thought this was a particularly spiritual and disciplined thing to do. He still squashed particularly pesky mosquitos or an ant or two trying to explore his nostrils and ears.
But mostly he sat on the rotting stump, miserably hunkering through rain and snow and shining sun, and trying not to itch all the tickles of ants, flies, and other bugs, and all the festering log splinters. He sat and waited for god to tell him what a great seer he was.
Then one day he brushed the ants off his beard, pulled the splinters out of his rump, and returned to civilization, a very disgusted person. He told the world god had not come to him, though he had waited patiently on an old rotting stump, and had endured bears growling at him, rain wetting him to the bone, ants trying to eat his snot, and splinters in his rump. Therefore, he told the world, god did not exist.
The stump, on the other hand, was wondering, once again, if people were worth the effort.
A parable from the Lee side.