Author Archives: Tibbit_Cc8

A journey from fund raising

Back when I got my call to go into student ministry in Malmö, there was only one thing I was not too happy about: fund raising. I knew that in order to get to Malmö, I had to raise my funding. I saw this as having to put myself out there and say a few words about myself, and why people should start supporting my ministry in Malmö. I hated the thought but my calling and vision to enter into ministry, made me willing to “suffer” putting myself out there. My mindset was really that fund raising was a necessary “evil” to reach the goal of being able to minister to the students in Malmö.

I eventually got to Malmö, and started realizing that we need some practical structures in the Nordic countries, in order to make it easier to become workers in the field of student ministry. One of the first things I started considering was how to finance this kind of ministry. I played around with the ideas of how missions usually are financed in the Nordic countries, through mission organizations. But then a significant shift happened: I realized that this would probably be even more difficult, because so few actually know the whys of student ministry. There is a huge lack of knowledge and vision for what student ministry ought to be: a active work of reaching out to not-yet-believing as well as believing students on the campuses of this part of the world.

This shift made me realize that we need people to work on rising the vision for student ministry, and that fund raising is only the first level of this work. Our vision to reach the campuses of Europe is important enough that we should not stop our vision casting at the point of having covered our ministry budget. To reach all the campuses of Europe, we will need finances, yes. But we will also need so much more! We need people being interested into going into ministry, including supporting ministries. We also need churches to work with, and host our ministries. We really need to create a higher awareness of the whys of student ministry.

All this calls for the one kind of “currency” that are far more valuable that any money: Namely the currency of “vision”! Without vision, churches will not join us in our cause, nor workers, nor the church at large, nor the finances we need for our ministry. Indeed the words of Proverbs 29:18a rings true: “Where there is no vision, the people perish:” We do indeed have a vision for student ministry. Perhaps are we so eager to get into the “doing student ministry part”, that we stop telling the “why” part to people as soon as we got our finances covered?

The shift from fund raising to “vision rising”, has also resulted in a different view on the task of fund raising. Now I want to get started to do fund raising, so I can have a good excuse to tell people why student ministry is needed. I want to cast the vision to the greater church. The funds would be a bonus, enabling me to actually work in the field of the ministry I love, but the message is more important that the finances. Indeed the fund rising may end when the budget is covered, but the vision rising never should end. It should never be down prioritized during the workload of the ministry, but should be an integral part of the ministry itself.

Next time I will be fund raising for my ministry, my focus will not be on getting the funding. Rather I will focus on communicating the need to reach this people group; that our students at our campuses today are. Indeed I am tempted to do like Hudson Taylor, who never accepted an offering or gift when he had just presented the great need in China. He had found that people would give more, sometimes even themselves, if they could not at once be relieving themselves of the burden his vision had cast upon them. They would go home, pray over what they had heard, and God would speak…

I may not currently have a ministry to raise funds for, but I do have a vision that needs to be raised in the minds of the people here in the Nordic countries… Expect more from me about this!

The Third Calling

So the first calling in our lives is to seek God:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Mathew 6,33


The second calling is to love our neighbor:

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5,14


The third calling is that we are called into the situation we already ARE in. With that I don’t necessarily mean that God have created this particular situation because that is His wants for you, but I mean that God have called you to make the best out of the situation. We should actively be seeking God, loving the people around us, and trying to see what we can do for God and our neighbors wherever we are.

We are not supposed to sit down and wait for whatever we think God has created us to do. Not called hide from the world, or to hide the fact that we belong to Him. (There are exceptions to this, but this is not the default nor common case as it may seem many believe.)

No, we are called to prepare ourselves in the ways available to us. We are called to continuously seek to understand what God wants us to see, learn or experience. Continuously seeking the people He wants us to meet. Continuously seeking His will at whatever point of our journey we are at.


King David, when he was a kid, served his family as a shepherd. Being a shepherd was not a high status occupation, but he spent the time well. From the years as a shepherd he learned to know God. He had a lot of hours, just watching the sheep as the grazed, and where his mind could reach out to God and learn to know Him. He also learned to depend on God. Even after he had been anointed to become a king by Samuel, he still was a shepherd and kept faithfully to do the tasks he was put into doing. His time to become a king came many years later, and before that he had a long way to walk. But he kept seeking Gods will in every situation He got into, and he was blessed by God. This is only one of the many stories in the bible about people having to walk a long journey before they came to their ultimate calling in their lives. All of them had to serve patiently on whatever and wherever they were put into doing on the way.


In our life with God, we need to know that to God, the journey is as important as the destination itself. This can be a very big change for modern day people that are used to be able to get around the world in just a couple of days. While our journey with God tends to be paced like if we were walking the distances. There are no “plane rides” to get to whatever calling we are walking towards. No shortcuts! The journey has a lot of importance to God: We are to meet people, to gain strength and knowledge, to establish relationships, and to encounter experiences and situations that will prepare us for what is to come.


This third calling is also always joined with the great commission:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

Mathew 28,19-20a

This is something all believers in Christ are called to do, and it is not exclusively connected with some kind of ministry. We are called to do this wherever we are. We are called to disciple people and to bring them to Christ. The topic of discipling and discipleship deserves its own post, so I may very well return to that some other time.


There is one aspect of both discipleship and being called to where we are at the moment that I need to mention. That is the fact that at any moment of our lives, we have certain responsibilities that should be prioritized before any ministry we might have. Most important here is our responsibilities for our own family, especially any spouse or children we might have. If we do not spend a fair amount of time with them, I would say we are neither being good disciplers, nor are we being just to them. I would even say that we are opening up for many attacks from the evil, if we do not give our given responsibilities in life enough time and attention they require. Feel free to read Ephesians 6 about our spiritual armor. Therefore, spend time with those we owe to spend time with. There is much to be said about his, so I may return to this topic some other time.



1. Love God: Spend time with God, and learn to know Him!

2. Love your neighbor: Try seeing what God sees in people. Let God love them through you.

3. Live in the now: Follow up on your responsibilities. Bless those around you. Prepare for any calling.


These are what all believers are called to do.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”


Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.


Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.


And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

Ephesians 6,1-9

The Second Calling

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Mark 12;28-34

There is another calling we have that come before the tasks God have called us to. It is the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. In there is two challenges and traps we may fall into. The first is the challenge it may be to love our neighbor: The people we meet in our everyday lives! The other is the challenge it may be to actually love ourselves as God have meant us to do!

I will begin with the last part of this task: To love ourselves. In this world, it seems that to love ourselves means to put yourself before everyone else. It is important that we do not go into this trap. Nor should go into the trap that we hate and dislike ourselves due to all the weaknesses we can see in ourselves. We need to learn what God sees in us, and what he loves to see in us. This is what we are supposed to love. This is the true core of who we are: The human God created us to be!

To love ourselves is an important condition to be able to love our neighbor as much as we are supposed to. If we hate ourselves, we will end up hating others. When we travel by plane, we are always told during the security briefing that we are supposed to put on our own oxygen mask first, before trying to help anyone else. This is because trying to help others; we may end up not being able to neither give help, or to help ourselves.

If we are to love others at the maximum, we also need to love ourselves at the maximum. But as I said before: To love ourselves have nothing to do about putting ourselves before others, but to see ourselves as God sees us!

Why is it so important to love our neighbor? What makes it so important that it come before the other tasks God have given us?

I mean the importance of this, is that is just that love for our neighbors is what is supposed to motivate our ministry! If our motivation come from other sources that our love for God AND the love for our neighbors, then the danger will always be that we either grow proud in ourselves, or we burn out.

I also believe that the love for our neighbors functions as a multiplicator or amplifier in the ministry we serve. When people see that we do what we do for them out of love, we end up having a much greater influence on their lives. If we want to be efficient in our ministry, we need to love those we serve!

Another reason that the love for our neighbor is so important in our ministry is that it gives our ministry substance, power, reason and cause. Feel free to read 1th Corinthians about what ministry and deeds done without love do us. Do we want to be like a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal?

Therefore: Learn to know God. Get to know how much he loves you! Get to know how much he loves our neighbor. When you learn to know him, and learn to love Him who gave himself for you. Then you will not be able to not love those who he created. Then you will love the many lost daughters and sons of our beloved God and Lord! Then your heart will be filled by sorrow when you see the many who have been fooled, and you will be filled with a passion both for the people of God and the lost sheep!

Love Him, and love those He loves!

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

1 John 4;20-21

The First Calling

What is the most important calling of God in your life?
A prophet? Teacher? Apostle? Maybe an evangelist? Or a shepherd?
Are you an intercessor? Or a caretaker?
Do you see people, and encourage them where they are?
Or do you have another task?

All these are good callings, given by God to build His church.
But these are not the first and most important calling we have!
Look upon the Lord. Get to know Him who delivered us!
Learn to know Him, spend time with Him, love Him!

When did you speak with God last time? Did you ask him for things?
Or did you just want to spend time with Him? Love Him!
Love Him who loved you in eternities eternity!
Look upon Him who paid with His own life that you may live!

Love Him, and living water will flow from you.
Love Him, and you will love the unlovable.
Love Him, and you will be light and salt in the world.
Love Him, and your gifts of service will grow and be blessed.

How can you love someone you do not know? Without God that is impossible!
Learn to know Him, to see His love for YOU!
Let Him awaken the love in you, for His glory!
Let Him light the light in your eyes!
Let Him make you into a lighthouse of love!
But most important: Learn to know Him!
Spend time with Him who loved you since before the beginning of time!
That is our first calling:
To spend all our time to strengthen the relation with God the Almighty, the Creator of Universe!

From THAT relationship our other callings will flow naturally!
From the first calling, our love for our neighbors will be flooding!
From Him, through us the world will be blessed!
From Him, we get power to get even closer to Him!

See Him
Hear Him
Meet Him
Love Him



A poem by me

Have you seen the great variety of seeds?
Flying seeds, drifting ones.
Seeds that bury themselves.
Or pop away from their motherplant.
Some are colorful, other keep to one color.
Unique seed for each kind of plant.

Did you know that we are like seeds?
A great variety of personalities and looks.
Of skills and interests.
Flying, rolling, strolling, hopping around.
Colored by our imagination and creativity.
Absolutely unique, with unique potentials.

Do you know the potential of seeds?
Something much greater can appear of each one.
A tree, a beatiful flower, a spice, a bush.
But allways with the ability of creating seeds.
The plant allways a secret in the seed.
A plant requiring the death of one single seed.

Do know that we too need to die?
Die from ourselves, to grow in the garden of God.
And out of that dead seed, our true selves grow up.
A greater potential, alive, growing, bearing fruit.
A life in Christ is like a life as a plant,
Without Him, just like a seed. Just an unused potential.

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

John 12;24-26

What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.

1 Cor 15;36b-38

Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”

Luke 13;18-19

Unique / Unik

A poem I write for “Bunte Abend” (a talents night) at Connect 2012 in Cologne.

Ett dikt jeg skrev for “Bunde Abend” (en talentkveld) på Connect 2012 i Køln. Gå til norsk versjon.


Uniquely created, an unique personality.
Uniquely loved, an unique love story.
This is THE You, the You created by God.

Why do you dream of being someone else than You are?
Why do you change your appearance to be what You are not?
Why do you try to make yourself a copy of someone else?

To God, You are exactly how He want you to be.
To God, You are an uniquely beautiful person.
To God, rescuing You, was worth dying!

Did you know You are an unique gift?
First of all, a gift to yourself. But also to others.
You are an unique gift and an expression of God’s love!

I know…
You aren’t happy about all things about yourself.
But God want you to be part of creating the ulitimate YOU!
He is championing you!
Championing you to become the best possible You!

How? Through Christ!

You are an unique piece of God’s great mosaic.
His love for you so incredibly unique,
and your love for him…
Something fare more unique and precious than you can imagine!

Just look at the unique combination of personality, interests and experiences,
that together have shaped you to what you are:

Absolutely UNIQUE!

You are worth being yourself!
You are worth being loved as yourself!
You are worth growing in being yourself!
You are worth being unique!
You are worth God’s love!

You are not your parents!
You are not the place you live!
You are not your job, nor your hobbies!
You are not someone else than You!

Tell me…
Who are you… really?


Unikt skapt, en unik personlighet.
Unikt elsket, en unik kjærlighetshistorie.
Dette er DEG, det DEG som ble skapt av Gud.

Hvorfor drømmer du om å være noen andre enn det du er?
Hvorfor forandrer du utseende til å bli noe du ikke er?
Hvorfor prøver du å gjøre deg selv til en kopi av noen andre?

For Gud, er du akkurat slik Han ønsker at du skal være.
For Gud, er du en unikt vakker person.
For Gud, å redde deg, det var det verdt å dø for!

Viste du at Du er en unik gave?
Først og fremst en gave til deg selv. Men også til andre.
Du er en unik gave og et uttrykk for Guds kjærlighet!

Jeg vet…
Du er ikke fornøyd med alt som gjelder deg selv.
Men Gud ønsker at du skal være med på å skape det ultimate DEG!
Han trener deg til å bli en Mester!
Trener deg til å bli den best mulige Deg!

Hvordan? Gjennom Kristus!

Du er en unik bit av Guds store mosaikk.
Hans kjærlighet til deg så utrolig unik,
og din kjærlighet til ham…
Så utrolig mye mer unikt og dyrebart en du kan forestille deg!

Bare se på den unike kombinasjonen av personlighet, interesser og erfaringer,
som sammen har skapt deg til det du er:

Absolutt UNIK!

Du er verdt å være deg selv!
Du er verdt å bli elsket som deg selv!
Du er verdt å kunne vokse i det å være deg!
Du er verdt å være unik!
Du er verdt Guds kjærlighet!

Du er ikke dine foreldre!
Du er ikke stedet du bor!
Du er ikke jobben din, og heller ikke dine hobbyer!
Du er ikke andre enn Deg!

Fortell meg…
Hvem er du… egentlig?


“Just fine, thanks!”

Some years ago I had this dream. I don’t think it was about a real person, but it was some sort of a pastor or elder of a church. Anyway in this dream I had just met him and asked “How are you?” And as most people do, he answered “Fine, thanks.” But for some reason I was not satisfied with the answer. Repeated the question several times, and he got apparently more and more annoyed. “How are you REALLY?” I asked. I remember I was thinking to myself in my dream “Why am I doing this? Why don’t I just stop asking? Why am I bothering him?” But the urging in me was too big for me to be able to stop.
But at some point this guy suddenly stopped saying he was just fine, and started telling me the truth. I don’t remember the things he said. But it could be that he was stressed out, had some pain or sickness, some worry or felt down or had problems in his family. I dont remember.

My point with this story is that we sometimes should dare being “bothersome” to someone. Because sometimes that the best way we can show that we really want to bother with their problems. And that we actually care about their well being.
Sometimes we may ask “How are you” to someone and get “Just fine” as an answer, but at the same time have a feeling that it is not all true. The reason for only getting a “Just fine” can vary. At least here in Norway it is almost impolite to answer anything else but some variant of fine, good or similar. At worst it any bad report should be of minor things, unless something is so evidently not right that a positive report would be an obvious lie. Other times the one we are asking simply do not want to bother anyone else with their own problems, whatever what the problems may be. These two factors were the two things happening in my dream I believe.

Yes, there can be other reasons as well. For example you may not know the one asking well enough for you to want to share about your problems, or maybe just want to get over with the pleasantries to get onto whatever business you have to do.
Still. There are those who are not “Just fine”. Some of your very own friends might have more to say than they dare telling you outright. The question to us all is: Do you want to bother with them as much to figure out what is bothering them that you might be bothersome to get them to tell? Do we have the courage and boldness needed to be a true and good friend to a friend of ours who may need our help? Who knows how much closer a friend we may get if we just dare going just a little further than just accepting a “Just fine, Thanks”?

God, help us to see those of our friends that are in pains, troubles or worries. Give us courage and wisdom to find a way to help and to see those friends that need our help. Help us to love them as you have loved us. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Do you know?

Do you know that God sees you?
That he knows you better than anyone?
That he knows your every imperfection?
That he knows every bad thing you’ve done?
That he knows every cruel thought you’ve had?
Do you know?
And do you know…
that still…
even while knowing…
all this bad stuff about you…
Do you know…
that he sees you,
and he still loves you?

Do you know that God loves you?
That he loves you as a father and as a mother?
That he loves you as his brother or sister?
That he loves you as his best friend?
That he loves you as a groom loves his bride?
Do you know?
And do you know…
that because of this…
even in your lack…
of loving him back…
Do you know…
he’ll give you everything you need
because he loves you.

Do you know that God is a provider?
That he gives you everything what you need?
That he gives you guidance and wisdom?
That he gives you every blessing you need?
That he gave himself for you?
Do you know?
And do you know…
he can give so much more…
if you just…
dare asking Him.
Do you know…
There’s no limit to what he can give,
as he gave you his Christ, his own son?

The Turtles

The Turtles

Av Johnny Danielsen

Norwegian version here / Norsk versjon her.

Once upon a time there was this very special kind of turtles. They were giants, with huge, flat shields. The shields were so big and flat that soil gathered on top of it, and usually with the years, plants started growing. Even trees. Small gardens were what the turtles were carrying around on their backs. But there were a huge variation on what were growing in these gardens. Some had almost nothing growing, others could have a lot. Some had shield gardens with a lot of fruit, while others could only offer leaves, grass and other veggies.

Once two turtles met each other. One of them had a somewhat sparse grown shield garden. The leaves on its small trees were more yellowish or grayish green, than they were green. The shield garden on the other turtle, on the other hand, was so big that the turtle’s shield was totally covered in the rich, thick foliage. The leaves were strongly green, and an abundance of berries, fruits and flowering flowers were everywhere in the shield garden.

The first turtle was surprised to see such an incredibly garden, and wondered how it could be. He thought that since the two turtles lived in the same area, the two gardens should have been pretty much similar? Usually such turtles do not eat the growth of other turtles, nor their own. But the smell of the flowers and mature fruit awakened such a hunger in the first turtle, that he just had to ask the other. “Sorry, but could I get to taste some of the fruit growing on your back? It smells so nice!”

“Off course you can!” the other answered, and put his broad side towards the first, so he could just pick and choose. The first reached its head towards a particularly tempting apple. It tasted sweet and good, it was like fresh nectar. The first apple was quickly followed by others, but then he saw some plums and had to taste them as well. Then some cherries and the greatest blue berries he had ever seen. He had never tasted such fruit! Finally, his curiosity got the best of him. “How is it that there is so much tasty fruit growing in your shield garden? After all, we live in the same area; shouldn’t we have quite similar shield gardens?”

The other watched the first thoughtfully. “I believe it is because I’m always outside…”
“Outside? Aren’t everyone outside?” the first looked surprised at the other.
“Yes,” the other answered. “But you seek shelter when the sun is too strong… or when it starts raining. You find yourself a cave or find cover elsewhere.”
“But that is because it isn’t very comfortable to get completely wet by rain, or to be baked in the sun!” The first exclaimed. The other smiled. “It is true that it’s not always so nice, especially it could be hard in the beginning.” He reached out his head towards the first’s shield garden and bit of a leaf. The face he made made it clear it was a bit bitter. Then he looked at the first turtle, “Once, my shield garden was quite similar to yours, but with the time, it became this fertile.” He shook himself gently, so his whole garden rustled. “Today it gives me both shadow against the sun, and it keeps me both dry and warm when it rains.”

The first turtle reached out for a tempting plum and enjoyed its taste. “Taste great too! But how do the sun and the rain help you get such a garden?” The other smiled again, and stretched itself out after an apple from its own shield garden. “Well. When you seek cover for the rain, your shield garden never gets the water it needs, and the plants growing on you need water. They will also need water in order to withstand the heat of the sun at noon. That’s why it’s a good idea to seek places with a lot of rain when it rains. Then the plants will hold up a lot better when it is warm.”

The first nodded “Yes, I can see that. But why do you want to stay out when it is hot? Wouldn’t even the plants do better if not exposed to the strongest heat and sun?”

“You’re no fool, I hear!” the other answered. “There are times that the heat get so strong that I do seek cover. But the plants grow at the best when they get the heat they need, and the sunlight make the fruit both larger and sweeter. That’s why it is a good idea to seek good, nice warm places when it is sun and you got enough water.
“Hmm…” The first had just reached out for another sweet and juicy apple. “You may have a point there. But it sounds both a bit too cold and a bit too warm, what you are talking about. How did you start?”

The other went over to a small stream nearby. “Not only plants need water.” he said, and drank of the fresh water. “It started actually a day when I met another turtle. He had the most fantastic shield garden I ever have seen. Flowers and fruits everywhere, and he let me taste.” He licked himself around his mouth. “Never have I tasted such fruit. Just as you, I wonder how that could be, and he shared the same idea I just shared with you: To stay outside.” He laughed a bit “I guess I really had a dream about being able to eat myself full every day on fruit from my own shield garden. Anyway I started following this other turtle I met, hoping to learn how to get such a garden myself. But in fact I was disappointed. It didn’t take long time before the plants I had in my own shield garden started withering.”

The first looked at the other dismayed. “Withering? Why?”
“Look at the mountains, do the same plants grow on the whole hill side?” the other smiled.
The first turned its head towards the mountains, “Well… no, the tops are bare, farther down grass and scrubs, and on the slopes, trees are growing in varying layers. But what does this have to do with this?”
The other shook his shield, “Look at your shield garden, then on mine. Do you see many of the same plants?” The first nodded. “Off course, there are… uhm…” He studied the two shield gardens closer. “Hmm… no, actually none. Why do you think that is so?”
“For the same reasons the plants in the hills grows in different layers. The layers come from different temperatures, but you will also see that where there is much water, other plants grow than where it is dry. I guess you are able to see the difference between a march and a forested top, don’t you?” He winked jokingly to the first.

The first laughed “Yes, off course I do! But what does that have to do with your shield garden withering?”
“Well, what happened”, the other said. “Was that when I started following my new friend, it was like if I moved from a forested top down into a marsh… or from the top of a mountain down to the bottom of a valley. And the plants that grew in my shield garden couldn’t survive, so they withered away, but little by little, new plants started growing. I actually believe some seeds to my new shield garden came from my new friend. A that time little were growing still, and that was when the cold of the rain was at the worst. And the heat of the sun almost cooked me in my own shell… But the plants were growing in good, wet soil, and after some decades, my shield garden was nice and fertile. Not by far close to how it is like now, off course. I needed quite a few more years before I got this far.”

The first turtle smiled. “So your dream came true then? Each day you are eating yourself full from your own shield garden?”
The other shook his head. “It may have been my dream, but the time with my friend taught me something new. I didn’t see him eat from his own garden very often. Usually he ate the same stuff that most turtles do.”
The first was surprised “But why that? He could have eaten of the best food that has ever existed!”
“That was what I meant too. But what I saw him doing, was that he shared of his fruits to everyone he met – both turtles and others.”
The first was even more baffled. “Shared with others? Why?”

“Well,” the other turtle answered. “One day I asked him about it. He asked me how many turtles I had met that had a shield garden similar to his. Have you seen many?” He looked at the first questioningly.
The first shook his head: “You’re one with the most fertile shield garden I have ever seen. Not even one has come anywhere close to yours!”
“That was the same answer I had, and the old answered that’s why.”
“That is why?”
“I said that too. “That’s why” he answered. ‘Because there are way too few turtles that get a chance to taste such fruits. That’s why I travel around to share of my fruit to everyone who wants some.'” The eyes of the other went blank. “That is when I lost a dream… and got a new one. I followed him some more months and learned more, before I left him to share of my fruits with others. That’s why.” He smiled to the first. “Do you want some more fruit?”



Av Johnny Danielsen

Engelsk versjon her. / English version here.

Det var en gang en helt spesiell type skillpadder. De var store, med brede flate skjold. Skjoldene var så flate og store at det samlet seg jord oppe på skjoldet, og med årene begynte det som oftest å gro opp planter av alle slag. Til og med trær. Det vokste rett og slett små hager oppe på skilpadderyggene. Men det var ofte stor variasjon på hva vokste oppe på skjoldene. Noen hadde nesten ingenting som vokste, andre kunne ha mye. Noen hadde skjoldhager med mye frukt, andre kunne bare by på blader, gress og annet grøntfor.

En gang møtte to skilpadder hverandre. Den hos den ene var skjoldhagen litt glisten, og mange av bladene på de små trærne var mer gul eller grågrønne de var grønne. Hos den andre skilpadden derimot, hadde skjoldhagen vokst seg så stor og frodig at det var ikke mulig å se noe av skjoldet. Bladene var kraftig grønne, og det var både bær, frukter og blomstrende blomster overalt i skjoldhagen.

Den første skilpadden ble litt forbløffet over å se en slik frodig hage, og lurte på hvordan det kunne ha seg. Han mente at siden de to levde i det samme området, burde jo hagene ha sett ganske like ut? Nå bruker skilpaddene sjeldent å spise fra hverandres skjoldhager, eller sin egen for den saks skyld. Men duften av blomster og moden frukt, vekte en slik hunger i den første skilpadden, at han til slutt spurte den andre “Unnskyld, men tror du at jeg kunne få smake litt av den frukten som vokser på ryggen din? Det lukter så godt!”

“Klart du kan få det!” svarte den andre, og stilte bredsiden til, slik at den første kunne velge og vrake.
Den første strakte hodet ut mot et eple som hang fristende på en gren. Det smakte søtt og godt, det var som frisk nektar. Det første eplet ble raskt fulgt av andre, men så la han merke til noen plommer, og måtte smake på dem også. Deretter kom noen kirsebær, og noen av de største blåbærene han hadde sett. Han hadde aldri smakt slik frukt! Til slutt ble nysgjerrigheten for stor. “Hvordan kan det ha seg at det vokser så mye godt frukt i skjoldhagen din? Vi lever jo i det samme området, burde vi ikke ha ganske like skjoldhager?”

Den andre så på ettertenksom på den første. “Jeg tror det er fordi jeg alltid er ute…”
“Ute? Er vi ikke alle ute?”, den første så forundret på den andre.
“Jo,” svarte den andre. “Men dere søker ly når solen skinner for sterkt… eller når det begynner å regne. Dere finner en hule eller skjuler dere andre steder.”
“Men det er jo fordi det ikke er trivelig å bli styrtvåt av regnet, eller å bli stekt av solen!” utbrøt den første.
Den andre smilte. “Det er nok ikke alltid så behagelig, spesielt kunne det være vanskelig i begynnelsen.” Han strakte hodet ut mot skjoldhagen til den første og bet av et blad. Grimasen han gjorde, røpte at bladet nok var en smule bittert. Så så han på den første skilpadden “En gang, var skjoldhagen min ganske lik din, men med tiden ble den så frodig.” Han ristet forsiktig på seg, slik at hele skjoldhagen hans raslet. “I dag gir den meg både skygge mot solen, og den holder meg både tørr og varm når det regner.”

Den første skilpadden strakte seg ut mot en fristende plomme og nøt den. “Smaker godt også! Men hvordan hjelper solen og regnet deg til å få en slik hage?” Den andre smilte igjen, og strakte seg selv og bet av et eple fra sin egen skjoldhage. “Jo du skjønner. Når du søker ly fra regnet, så rekker skjoldhagen din aldri å bli skikkelig vannet, og plantene som vokser på deg trenger vann. De trenger også vann til å stå i mot solen midt på dagen, og derfor er det lurt å finne steder med mye regn når det regner. Da holder plantene ut mye lengre når det er varmt.”
Den første nikket “Jo, jeg kan se det. Men hvorfor vil du være ute når det er varmt? Burde ikke plantene også ha bedre av å ikke bli utsatt for den sterkeste varmen og sola?”
“Du er ikke dum, du!” svarte den andre. “Det er ganger hvor det blir såpass varmt at jeg søker skygge. Men plantene vokser best når de får den varmen de trenger, og sollyset gjør frukten både større og søtere. Derfor er det lurt å finne gode, varme steder når det er sol og du har nok vann.”
“Mmm…” Den første hadde nettopp tatt seg enda et søtt og saftig eple. “Du har kanskje noe i det du sier. Men det høres både litt for kalt og litt for varmt, det du snakker om. Hvordan var det du begynte?”

Den andre ruslet bort til en liten bekk i nærheten. “Ikke bare planter trenger vann.” sa han, og drakk av det friske vannet. “Det begynte faktisk en dag da jeg møtte en annen skilpadde. Han hadde den mest fantastiske skjoldhagen jeg noen gang har sett. Blomster og frukt over alt, og han lot meg få smake.” Han slikket seg rundt munnen. “Aldri har jeg smakt slik frukt. Jeg lurte som deg på hvordan det kunne ha seg, og han delte den samme ideen med meg som jeg har delt med deg: å være ute.” Han lo litt “Jeg tror vel jeg egentlig hadde en drøm om å kunne spise meg mett hver dag på frukten av min egen skjoldhage. Men jeg begynte i alle fall å følge denne skilpadden jeg møtte, i håp om å lære å få en lignende hage selv. Men faktum var at jeg ble skuffet. Det tok ikke lang tid før plantene jeg hadde i skjoldhagen min begynte å visne.”

Den første så forskrekket på den andre. “Visne? Hvorfor det?”
“Se på fjellene, vokser de samme plantene på hele fjellsiden?” den andre smilte.
Den første snudde hodet mot fjellene, “Vel… nei, der er bart på toppene, gress og lyng lengre nede, og i liene vokser det trærne i ulike lag. Men hva har det med saken å gjøre?”
Den andre ristet på skjoldet sitt, “Se på din skjoldhage, og så min. Ser du mange av de samme plantene?”
Den første nikket “Klart det. Det er jo… uhm…” Han begynte å studer to to skjoldhagene nærmere. “Hmm… nei, faktisk ingen. Hvorfor det tror du?”
“Av samme grunn som at plantene vokser i ulike lag. Lagene skyldes ulike temperaturer, men du vil også se at der det er mye vann, vokser andre planter enn der det er tørt. Du ser da forskjell på ei myr og en skogkolle, gjør du ikke?” Han blinket skøyeraktig til den første.

Den første flirte “Jo, jeg gjør da det! Men hva har det med at skjoldhagen din begynte å visne å gjøre?”

“Jo, det som skjedde”, sa den andre. “Var at da jeg begynte å følge min nye venn, så var der som om jeg flyttet meg fra en skogkolle til ei myr… eller fra høyfjellet til lavlandet. Og de plantene som vokste i skjoldhagen min kunne ikke lengre overleve, så de visnet. Men litt etter litt begynte nye planter å gro. Jeg tror faktisk at det kanskje var noen frø som kom fra min nye venn. Men på den tiden var det lite som vokste enda, og det var da kulden i regnet var verst, og varmen på soldagene stekte meg nesten i mitt eget skall. Men plantene vokste i god, våt jord, og etter noen tiår begynte skjoldhagen å bli fin og frodig. Ikke på langt nær slik den er nå, selvsagt. Jeg trengte en god del flere år før jeg kom så langt.”

Den første skilpadden smilte. “Så drømmen din gikk i oppfyllelse da? Hver dag så spiser du deg mett av din egen skjoldhage?”
Den andre ristet på hodet. “Det var nok drømmen min. Men tiden med min gamle venn lærte meg noe nytt. Det var sjeldent jeg så ham spise av sin egen skjoldhage. Han spiste som regel det samme som de fleste skilpadder gjør.”
Den første var forundret “Men hvorfor det? Han kunne jo ha spist den aller beste maten som finnes!”
“Det var det jeg også mente. Men det jeg så ham gjøre, var at han delte av frukten fra skjoldhagen sin til alle han møtte. Både skilpadder og andre.”
Den første var endra mer forundret. “Delte med andre? Hvorfor det?”

“Jo,” svarte den andre skilpadden. “En dag spurte jeg ham om det. Han spurte meg om hvor mange skillpadder jeg hadde møtt som hadde hatt en slik skjoldhage som ham? Har du sett mange?” Han så spørrende på den første.
Den første ristet på hodet: “Du er den med den frodigste skjoldhagen jeg har sett, ingen andre har kommet i nærheten engang!”
“Det var det samme svaret jeg hadde, og den gamle svarte at det var derfor.”
“Det sa jeg også. ‘Derfor’ sa han. ‘Fordi det er alt for få skilpadder som får smake slike frukter. Derfor drar jeg rundt og deler av min frukt til alle som vil ha.'” Øynene til den andre ble blanke. “Det var da jeg mistet en drøm… og fikk en ny drøm. Jeg fulgte ham noen måneder til og lærte mer, før jeg forlot ham for å dele av min frukt med andre. Derfor.” Han smilte til den første. “Vil du ha litt mer frukt?”