THE BOAT RACE

There was a great race between a team of the wise and a team of the foolish. The wise people won by a mile. So the foolish people hired a expert to figure out what went wrong. He reported that the wise people had one person steering and eight people rowing, while they had eight people steering and only one person rowing.

“Aha,” said the foolish people who immediately restructured their team: Now they had one senior manager, seven management consultants, and  one rower. In the rematch, the wise people won by two miles!

After further intensive consultations, the foolish people fired their rower!

Source: unknown origin

CONSIDER THIS

In the above story reality was staring the  team of the foolish in the face, but they just couldn’t see it. The fully lived life is all about seeing, seeing differently, seeing things as they really are.  It has been said that “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.”

“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

HOW THIRSTY ARE YOU?

 

A young couple on their honeymoon were visiting a little town outside the main city. It was a very conservative, hard-shell Baptist kind of place: No drinking and no dancing!

It was a ritual for these two, to enjoy a single-malt scotch whenever they were together! So the very first thing they craved was a scotch, to kick off the celebrations. They asked the first person they met – a total stranger –  where they might get a drink.

“In this town,” the stranger said “we use whiskey only for snakebite: to wash and clean the wound. Here whisky is simply used as a first aid. Nothing more and nothing less.” Then he added slyly, “If you guys are so thirsty for whiskey, there’s only one poisonous snake here and it’s in the zoo. So you better hurry, get a ticket to the zoo, go to the snake park, get hold of the one and only cobra through the iron bar of its cage and give it a big hug! The zoo keeper will appear immediately with whisky.”

Source: As remembered, reimagined, and retold by Philip Chircop SJ

CONSIDER THIS

  • As a deer longs for flowing streams,  so my soul longs for you, O God. -Psalm 42:1
  • How thirsty are you? What are you willing to do to quench your thirst?
  • Kabir, the 15th-century Indian mystic poet and saint, said: “I laughed when I heard them say the fish in the ocean is thirsty.”  Are you aware that you already dwell in the ocean that can quench all your thirst?

 

 

THE DOG WHO WALKED ON WATER

A man took his new hunting dog on a trial hunt one day.  After a while he managed to shoot a duck and it fell in the lake.  The dog walked over the water, picked up the duck, and brought it to his master.

The man was stunned.  He didn’t know what to think.  He shot another duck and again, it fell into the lake and again the dog walked over the water and brought it back to his master.

Hardly daring to believe his eyes, and not wanting to be thought a total fool, he told no-one about it – but the next day he called his neighbour to come shooting with him.  As on the previous day he shot a duck and it fell into the lake.  The dog walked over the water and got it.

His neighbour didn’t say a word.  Several more ducks got shot that day – and each time the dog walked over the water to retrieve them – and each time the neighbour said nothing and neither did the owner of the dog.

Finally – unable to contain himself any longer the owner asked his neighbour – “do you notice anything strange about my dog?”

Yes – replied the neighbour – rubbing his chin and thinking a bit – come to think of it I do – your dog doesn’t know how to swim.”

Source: Robert Johnson, A Sermon A Day
Volume 2 (page 61)

___________________

TWO GUYS HUNTING – Here’s a different version of the same story

These two guys used to go hunting with each other. One was positive and one was negative, every time.

The positive guy discovered something he didn’t feel the negative guy could complain about. He discovered a bird dog that could walk on water.

They were having a great day. They hit a duck. It landed in the water. The dog walked on water to pick up the duck and brought it back. The positive guy was smiling and the negative guy was frowning.

They hit a second duck. The dog walked on water out to the duck and brought it back. The positive guy was grinning like a gopher in soft dirt while the negative guy was cold and sour.

After they hit the third duck and the dog walked on water to retrieve it, the positive guy looked at the negative guy and said, “Haven’t you noticed anything about my new dog?” The negative guy said, “I have only noticed one thing. Your dog can’t swim!”

CONSIDER THIS

  • Point: Everything in life is the way you look at it.
  • Have you ever missed the point? The neighbour or the hunter with a negative outlook on life, missed the point completely. He couldn’t see the wonder of a dog that could walk on water; he could only see that the dog didn’t do what other hunting dogs do to retrieve ducks – that is to swim.
  • How do you react or respond when you experience something that  is outside your normal frame of reference?

 

 

THE BLESSING OF THE CRACKED POT

Back in the days when pots and pans could talk – which indeed they still do –  there lived a man. In order to have water, every day he had to walk down the hill and fill two pots and walk them home. One day it was discovered one of the pots had a crack and as time went on, the crack widened. Finally, the pot turned to the man and said, “You know, every day you take me to the river, and by the time you get home, half of the water’s leaked out. Please replace me with a better pot.”

And the man said, “You don’t understand. As you spill, you water the wild flowers by the side of the path.”  Sure enough, on the side of the path where the cracked pot was carried, beautiful flowers grew, while other side was barren.

“I think I’ll keep you,’ said the man.”

Source: Kevin Kling, The Dog Says How,
(Borealis Books; 1 edition, 2007)
pages 166-167

CONSIDER THIS

“The spiritual life is about being open to every moment, however incomplete, because every moment in life has something to teach us about what it means to live well. It is about realizing that sometimes the perfection of the moment lies in accepting its imperfections.”

Joan ChittisterWelcome to the Wisdom of the World and Its Meaning for You (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007)

THE CLOCK THAT HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

the-clock-that-had-a-nervous-breakdown

The new clock was ticking away on the shelf two ticks to the second as any good, self-respecting clock should tick when it began to think about how many times it was going to have to tick. “Two ticks to the second means 120 ticks per minute,” it mused. “That’s 7200 ticks per hour, 172,800 ticks per day, 1,209,600 per week for 52 weeks, and a total of 62,899,200 per year.” Horrors! Straightway the clock had a nervous breakdown.

The clock was taken to a psychiatrist who patched up the mainspring as well as he could then asked, “Clock, what’s your trouble?” “Oh, doctor,” wailed the clock, “I have to tick so much. I have to tick two ticks a second and 120 ticks per minute and 7200 ticks per hour, and.” “Hold it,” the psychiatrist cut in, “How many ticks do you have to tick at a time?” “Oh, I just have to tick one tick at a time,” was the reply. “Then let me make a suggestion,” replied the doctor. “You go home and try ticking one tick at a time. Don’t even think about the next tick until it’s time. Just tick one tick at a time. That you can do.”

Source: The original source is unknown to me

CONSIDER THIS

How often do we get bogged down thinking about all we have to do? Today, let me suggest this to you: Tick one tick at time, even if what you’re ticking is things off of your to-do list!

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.  – Matthew 6:34 (NRSV)

Give your entire attention to what God (Life) is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God (Life) will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. – Matthew 6:34 (The Message)

CAN IT GET ANY WORSE?

can-it-get-any-worse

A poor man lived with his wife and six children in a very small one-room house. They were always getting in each other’s way and there was so little space they could hardly breathe!

Finally the man could stand it no more. He talked to his wife and asked her what to do. “Go see the rabbi,” she told him, and after arguing a while, he went.

And so the poor man told the rabbi how miserable things were at home with him, his wife, and the six children all eating and living and sleeping in one room. The poor man told the rabbi, “We’re even starting to yell and fight with each other. Life couldn’t be worse.”

The rabbi thought very deeply about the poor man’s problem. Then he said, “Do exactly as I tell you and things will get better. Do you promise?”

“I promise,” the poor man said.

The rabbi then asked the poor man a strange question. “Do you own any animals?”

“Yes,” he said. “I have one cow, one goat, and some chickens.”

“Good,” the rabbi said. “When you get home, take all the animals into your house to live with you.”

The poor man was astonished to hear this advice from the rabbi, but he had promised to do exactly what the rabbi said. So he went home and took all the farm animals into the tiny one-room house.

The next day the poor man ran back to see the rabbi. “What have you done to me, Rabbi?” he cried. “It’s awful. I did what you told me and the animals are all over the house! Rabbi, help me!”

The rabbi listened and said calmly, “Now go home and take the chickens back outside.”

The poor man did as the rabbi said, but hurried back again the next day. “The chickens are gone, but Rabbi, the goat!” he moaned. “The goat is smashing up all the furniture and eating everything in sight!”

The good rabbi said, “Go home and remove the goat and may God bless you.”

So the poor man went home and took the goat outside. But he ran back again to see the rabbi, crying and wailing. “What a nightmare you have brought to my house, Rabbi! With the cow it’s like living in a stable! Can human beings live with an animal like this?”

The rabbi said sweetly, “My friend, you are right. May God bless you. Go home now and take the cow out of your house.” And the poor man went quickly home and took the cow out of the house.

The next day he came running back to the rabbi again. “O Rabbi,” he said with a big smile on his face, “we have such a good life now. The animals are all out of the house. The house is so quiet and we’ve got room to spare! What a joy!”

Source: Aaron Zerah, How the Children Became Stars:
A Family Treasury of Stories, Prayers and Blessings
from Around the World
Sorin Books
, 2000

CONSIDER THIS

  • Perspective is everything.  It is not what we see, but the way we see it. When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.
  • Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to – Abraham  Lincoln
  • Think about your biggest complaint and what the rabbi would tell you if he heard it. Today, follow the rabbi’s advice.
  • Imagine you are the man in the story. At the end, what would you say to a friend who complained about how bad life was?

PARABLE OF THE CRUMB AND THE LOAF

Once upon a time a loaf of bread fell from a bakery truck and as it hit the ground a crumb broke loose. Three sparrows all eyed the crumb and swooped down to grab it, but began fighting over it.

Eventually, one of the sparrows succeeded in scooping up the crumb in its beak and flew away with it with the other two sparrows following in hot pursuit. A frenzied aerial fracas took place until the crumb was completely consumed.

The only thing these sparrows saw was the crumb. None noticed the loaf still on the ground.

Source: Daily Encounter

CONSIDER THIS

Are you wasting your life-energy squabbling over trivialities, ignoring the true riches of life that surround you?

Are you majoring in minors, wasting time on non-essential issues while the cries of the hurting and the neglected go unheeded?