Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effectual working of his power.
A violet shed its modest beauties at the turfy foot of an old oak. It lived there many days during the kind summer in obscurity. The winds and the rains came and fell, but they did not hurt the violet. Storms often crashed among the boughs of the oak. And one day said the oak, "Are you not ashamed of yourself when you look up at me, you little thing down there, when you see now large I am and how small you are; when you see how small a space you fill, and how widely my branches are spread?" "No," said the violet; "we are both where God has placed us; and God has given us both something. He has given to you strength, to me sweetness; and I offer Him back my fragrance, and I am thankful!" "Sweetness is all nonsense," said the oak; "a few days — a month at most — where and what will you be? You will die, and the place of your grave will not lift the ground higher by a blade of grass. I hope to stand some time — ages perhaps; and then, when I am cut down, I shall be a ship, to bear men over the sea, or a coffin to hold the dust of a prince. What is your lot to mine?" "But," cheerfully breathed the violet back, "we are both what God made us, and we are both where He placed us. I suppose I shall die soon. I hope to die fragrantly, as I have lived fragrantly. You must be cut down at last; it does not matter, that I see, a few days or a few ages, my littleness or your largeness; it comes to the same thing at last. We are what God made us. We are where God placed us. God gave you strength; God gave me sweetness."
Parallel VersesKJV: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.