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The Swan and the Crane

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Sometimes we can be so earthly minded that we are no heavenly good.

There is an old legend of a swan and a crane. A beautiful swan alighted by the banks of the water in which a crane was wading about seeking snails. For a few moments the crane viewed the swan in stupid wonder and then inquired:

“Where do you come from?” “I come from Heaven!” replied the swan. “And where is Heaven?” asked the crane. “Heaven!” said the swan, “Heaven! Have you never heard of Heaven?” And the beautiful bird went on to describe the grandeur of the Eternal City. She told of streets of gold; and the gates and walls made of precious stones; and of the river of life, pure as crystal, upon whose banks is the tree whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations. In eloquent terms the swan sought to describe the hosts who live in the other world, but without arousing the slightest interest on the part of the crane.

Finally the crane asked: “Are there any snails there?” “Snails!” repeated the swan. “No! Of course there are not.” “Then,” said the crane, as it continued its search along the slimy banks of the pool, “you can have your Heaven. I want snails!”

To give up the blessings of Heaven for lowly snails here on earth would be ridiculous! Who would want something so mundane when you could have all the beauty ever created in Heaven? Yet, many times we can represent the crane.

How many times have we chosen to live for the mundane, lowly things of this world rather than seeking heavenly things? As Christians, we know that God has given us a home in Heaven and that one day He will take us there, but are we living in light of that knowledge?

Matthew 6:19–20 plainly shows us this principle: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” Rather than focusing on the snails and successes of this world, we should be aiming to live for Christ and keep Heaven in mind.

Where are you storing your treasure? Are you so earthly minded that your Heavenly bank is empty? Don’t be like the crane who was so focused on pleasing himself that he couldn’t see the wonderful blessings the swan was describing. Keep your focus on God and living for His glory. Don’t allow the things of this world to come between you and God. Allow God’s will to be your main goal and desire as you live on this temporal earth.

Source: Daily in the Word, October 2, 2008

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