I received this story in an email one day. I don't know who wrote it, but I am thankful for it.
The Pear Tree
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So, he sent them on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in the winter,
The second son in the spring,
The third son in the summer,
The youngest son in the fall.
When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said, "No," it was covered with green buds and full of promise.
The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful. It was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.
The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life.
He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all of the seasons are up.
If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall.
Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season.
Persevere through the difficult patches and the better times are sure to come some time.
Aspire to inspire before you expire.
Live simply. Love Generously. Care Deeply. Speak Kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Happiness keeps you sweet. Trials keep you strong. Sorrows keep you human. Failures keep you humble. Success keeps you glowing. But only God keeps you going.