Sunday, January 30, 2005

A good name is to be more desired
.than great riches

~ Proverbs 22:1 ~

~*~ The Emperor's Seed ~*~

Once there was an emperor in the Far
East who was growing old and knew it
was coming time to choose his
successor. Instead of choosing one
of his assistants or one of his own
children he decided to do something

He called all the young people in the
kingdom together one day. He said, "It
has come time for me to step down and
to choose the next emperor. I have
decided to choose one of you." The
kids were shocked! But the emperor
continued. "I am going to give each one
of you a seed today. One seed. It is
a very special seed. I want you to go
home, plant the seed, water it and
come back here one year from today
with what you have grown from this
one seed. I will then judge the plants
that you bring to me, and the one I
choose will be the next emperor of
"!the kingdom

There was one boy named Ling who was
there that day and he, like the
others, received a seed. He went
home and excitedly told his mother
the whole story. She helped him get
a pot and some planting soil, and he
planted the seed and watered it
carefully. Every day he would water
.it and watch to see if it had grown

After about three weeks, some of the
other youths began to talk about their
seeds and the plants that were
beginning to grow. Ling kept going
home and checking his seed, but
nothing ever grew. Three weeks
.four weeks, five weeks went by
.Still nothing

By now others were talking about their
plants but Ling didn't have a plant
and he felt like a failure. Six months
.went by, still nothing in Ling's pot
!He just knew he had killed his seed
Everyone else had trees and tall plants
but he had nothing. Ling didn't say
anything to his friends, however. He
.just kept waiting for his seed to grow

A year finally went by and all the
youths of the kingdom brought their
.plants to the emperor for inspection
Ling told his mother that he wasn't
going to take an empty pot. But she
encouraged him to go, and to take his
pot, and to be honest about what
happened. Ling felt sick to his
stomach, but he knew his mother was
right. He took his empty pot to
.the palace

When Ling arrived, he was amazed
at the variety of plants grown by
all the other youths. They were
.beautiful, in all shapes and sizes
Ling put his empty pot on the floor
and many of the other kids laughed
at him. A few felt sorry for him
".and just said, "Hey nice try

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed
.the room and greeted the young people
Ling just tried to hide in the
back. "My, what great plants, trees
and flowers you have grown," said the
emperor. "Today, one of you will be
!"appointed the next emperor

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted
Ling at the back of the room with his
empty pot. He ordered his guards to
bring him to the front. Ling was
terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a
"!failure! Maybe he will have me killed

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor
asked his name. "My name is Ling," he
replied. All the kids were laughing
and making fun of him. The emperor
asked everyone to quiet down. He
looked at Ling, and then announced to
!the crowd, "Behold your new emperor
His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't
believe it. Ling couldn't even
grow his seed. How could he be
?the new emperor

Then the emperor said, "One year
ago today, I gave everyone here
a seed. I told you to take the
seed, plant it, water it, and
bring it back to me today. But
I gave you all boiled seeds which
would not grow. All of you
except Ling, have brought me
trees and plants and flowers. When
you found that the seed would not
grow, you substituted another seed
for the one I gave you. Ling was
the only one with the courage and
honesty to bring me a pot with my
seed in it. Therefore, he is the
"!one who will be the new emperor

Author Unknown _

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