I love to tell real modern stories that demonstrate the power of Unity Principles. Most often I include such a story in my Sunday messages. Last Sunday I had two great stories that showed the power of Faith in Advent (i.e., Preparing for the rebirth of the Christ within us).
When we feel one with this Divine Spark that is inside of us all, then there is a new power that can help us get through even the most difficult of seeming problems. Well, I have been asked to repeat the story about the Christmas Tree farm, so here goes:
It is about David and Karen Barfield who live outside of Houston on a farm. They had a dream to create a Christmas Tree farm where people could find and cut down a tree. There would be free hot cocoa, marshmallow roasting, music, and magic. They felt Spirit leading them on to start the Christmas tree farm. The problem is that they opened it in 2008-- right in the middle of the Great Recession. They almost went bankrupt!
But they were able to stay in business by the skin of their teeth. However, after the Great Recession came a period where many of the evergreen trees experienced a blight. How would they open for the 2011 Christmas season?
Karen suggested that they order cut trees from North Carolina. David said that was not their dream, and why would people in Houston come all the way out to their farm to buy cut trees that they could purchase in downtown Houston?
David walked off in a funk. But then he centered of Spirit and asked for the faith to do the next right thing. What Spirit led him to do saved their Christmas tree farm and turned it into a great success. David felt Spirit let him to do the following:
--David felt led to examine the differences between the trees that had turned yellow and the trees that had remained greed. He saw that the trees that remained healthy seemed to have deeper and thicker roots. He remembered Jesus' Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13: 1-23). Jesus pointed out that the plants with shallow roots were blown away by the first storm. The plants with deeper and stronger roots survived. "That's my challenge. I need deeper and stronger spiritual roots," he said to himself.
--David asked for the faith to get through this storm.
--He went back to Karen and said, "Let's try your suggestion!"
Well, they got a shipment of trees from North Carolina. And guess what happened? People from Houston and purched all of them, and had a great time! David and Karen had to order a second load of trees.
As one customer told them, "The Christmas tree sellers in downtown Houston don's have that many trees this year, and many are not that good for some reason. And the prices they afre charging! It is crazy. Your tree farm is fantastic and full of the Christmas spirit."
This strategy gave them enough time to get their farm back on its feet.
David writes that "faith and deep roots are the keys to overcoming any seeming problem."
What a great Advent story. Let this faith grow deeper spiritual roots inside of you and me!
Rev. Dr. Rick Belous
Unity Center of Tulsa