Trouble Tree

Many of us find ourselves holding on to anxieties. Something doesn’t go right at work and several hours later, it is still on our mind while we’re sitting at the dinner table with our family. We go to the doctor for a test and the worry about it is in the back of our mind until we get the results, making it hard for us to fall asleep at night.

I’ve always loved the story of the plumber and his “trouble tree,” which offers one suggestion for dealing with those issues. I came across it again the other day and here it is:

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start.

While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

“Oh, that’s my trouble tree.” He replied “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again.”

“Funny thing is,” he smiled,” when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.” (Author Unknown)