A POND FULL OF MILK:
Once there was a king who told some of his workers to dig a pond. Once the pond was dug, the king made an announcement to his people saying that one person from each household has to bring a glass of milk during the night and pour it into the pond. So, the pond should be full of milk by the morning. After receiving the order, everyone went home.
One man prepared to take the milk during the night. He thought that since everyone will bring milk, he could just hide a glass of water and pour inside the pond. Because it will be dark at night, no one will notice. So he quickly went and poured the water in the pond and came back. In the morning, the king came to visit the pond and to his surprise the pond was only filled with water! What has happened is that everyone was thinking like the other man that “I don’t have to put the milk, someone else will do it.”
Moral: Everything starts from you, if you don’t do it, no one else will do it.
A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.
At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back…..every one of them.
One girl with Down’s syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will make it better.” Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story.
Moral: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
PAID IN FULL:
A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper, and he handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his mom dried her hands on an apron, she read it, and this is what it said:
For cutting the grass: $5.00
For cleaning up my room this week: $1.00
For going to the store for you: $.50
Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $.25
Taking out the garbage: $1.00
For getting a good report card: $5.00
For cleaning up and raking the yard: $2.00
Total owed: $14.75
Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper he had written on, and this is what she wrote:
For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me: No Charge.
For all the nights that I’ve sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you: No Charge.
For all the trying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years: No Charge.
For all the nights filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead: No Charge.
For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose: No Charge.
When you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge.
When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked
straight up at his mother and said, “Mom, I sure do love you.”
And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: “PAID IN FULL.”
BUILDING YOUR HOUSE:
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, “This is your house… my gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.
Moral: But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Your attitude, and the choices you make today, helps build the “house” you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, build wisely!
THE ILLUSION OF REFLECTION:
Once there was a king who had presented his daughter, the princess, with a beautiful diamond necklace. The necklace was stolen and his people in the kingdom searched everywhere but could not find it. Some said a bird might have stolen it. The king then asked them all to search for it and put a reward for $50,000 for anyone who found it.
One day a clerk was walking home along a river next to an industrial area. This river was completely polluted, filthy and smelly. As he was walking, the clerk saw a shimmering in the river and when he looked, he saw the diamond necklace. He decided to try and catch it so that he could get the $50,000 reward. He put his hand in the filthy, dirty river and grabbed at the necklace, but some how missed it and didn’t catch it. He took his hand out and looked again and the necklace was still there. He tried again, this time he walked in the river and dirtied his pants in the filthy river and put his whole arm in to catch the necklace. But strangely, he still missed the necklace!
He came out and started walking away, feeling depressed.
Then again he saw the necklace, right there. This time he was determined to get it, no matter what. He decided to plunge into the river, although it was a disgusting thing to do as the river was polluted, and his whole body would become filthy. He plunged in, and searched everywhere for the necklace and yet he failed. This time he was really bewildered and came out feeling very depressed that he could not get the necklace that would get him $50,000.
Just then a saint who was walking by, saw him, and asked him what was the matter. The clerk didn’t want to share the secret with the saint, thinking the saint might take the necklace for himself, so he refused to tell the saint anything. But the saint could see this man was troubled and being compassionate, again asked the clerk to tell him the problem and promised that he would not tell anyone about it. The clerk mustered some courage and decided to put some faith in the saint. He told the saint about the necklace and how he tried and tried to catch it, but kept failing.
The saint then told him that perhaps he should try looking upward, toward the branches of the tree, instead of in the filthy river. The clerk looked up and true enough, the necklace was dangling on the branch of a tree. He had been trying to capture a mere reflection of the real necklace all this time.
Moral: Material happiness is just like the filthy, polluted river; because it is a mere reflection of the TRUE
happiness in the spiritual world.
THE CLEVER KING!:
There was a country long time ago where the people would change a king every year. The person who would become the king had to agree to a contract that he would be sent to an island after his one year of being a king.
One king finished his term and it was time for him to go to the island and live there. The people dressed him up in expensive clothes and put him on an elephant and took him around the cities to say goodbye to all the people. This was the moment of sadness for all the kings who ruled for one year. After saying farewell, the people took the king with a boat to remote island and left him there.
On their way back, they discovered a ship that had sunk just recently. They saw a young man who survived by holding on to a floating piece of wood. As they needed a new king, they picked up the young man and took him to their country. They requested him to be a king for a year. First he refused but later he agreed to be a king. People told him about all the rules and regulations and that how he will be sent to an island after one year.
After three days of being a king, he asked the ministers if they could show him the island where all the other kings were sent. They agreed and took him to the island. The island was covered with thick Jungles and sounds of vicious animals were heard coming out of them. The king went little bit inside to check. Soon he discovered the dead bodies of all the past kings. He understood that as soon as they were left in the island, the animals came and killed them.
The king went back to the country and collected 100 strong workers. He took them to the island and instructed them to clean the Jungle, remove all the deadly animals & cut down all excess trees. He would visit the island every month to see how the work was progressing. In the first month, all the animals were removed and many trees were cut down. In the second month, the whole island was cleaned out. The king then told the workers to plant gardens in various parts of the island. He also took with himself useful animals like chickens, ducks, birds, goats, cows etc. In the third month, he ordered the workers to build big houses and docking stations for ships. Over the months, the island turned into a beautiful place.
The young king would wear simple clothes and spend very little from his earnings as a king. He sent all the earnings to the island for storage. When nine months passed like this, the king called the ministers and told them: “I know that I have to go the island after one year, but I would like to go there right now.” But the ministers
didn’t agree to this and said that he has to wait for another 3 months to complete the year.
3 months passed and now it was a full year. The people dressed up the young king and put him on an elephant to take him around the country to say goodbye to others. However, this king is unusually happy to leave the kingdom.
People asked him, “All the other kings would cry at this moment and why are you laughing?” He replied, “Don’t you know what the wise people say? They say that when you came to this world as a baby, you were crying and everyone was smiling. Live such a life that when you are die, you will be smiling and everyone around you will be crying. I have lived that life. While all the other kings were lost into the luxuries of the kingdom, I always thought about the future and planned for it. I turned the deadly island into a beautiful abode for me where I can stay peacefully.”
Moral: The life of this world is to prepare for the life hereafter. In this life, we shouldn’t get lost into the deceiving and attractive things of this world and forget about what is to come in the afterlife
A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man’s parcel of land remained barren.
After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing.
Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.
Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island.
He considered the other man unworthy to receive God’s blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered. As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, “Why are you leaving your companion on the island?” “My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,” the first man answered.
“His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything.” “You are mistaken!” the voice rebuked him. “He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings.” “Tell me,” the first man asked the voice, “What did he pray for that I should owe him anything?” “He prayed that all your prayers be answered.”
Moral: For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us.
The night fell heavy in the heights of the mountains and the man could not see anything. All was black. Zero visibility, and the moon and the stars were covered by the clouds. As he was climbing only a few feet away from the top of the mountain, he slipped and fell in to the air, falling at great speed. He could only see black spots as he went down, and the terrible sensation of being sucked by gravity.
He kept falling, and in the moments of great fear, it came to his mind all the good and bad episodes of his life. He was thinking now about how close death was getting, when all of a sudden he felt the rope tied to his waist pull him very hard. His body was hanging in the air.
Only the rope was holding him and in that moment of stillness he had no other choice other to scream: “Help me God.” All of a sudden a deep voice coming from the sky answered, “What do you want me to do?”
“Save me God.”
“Do you really think I can save you?”
“Of course I believe You can.”
“Then cut the rope tied to your waist.”
There was a moment of silence and the man decided to hold on to the rope with all his strength.
The rescue team tells that the next day a climber was found dead and frozen, his body hanging from a rope. His hands holding tight to it. Only one foot away from the ground.
Moral: And We? How attached we are to our rope will we let go??? Don’t ever doubt about the words of God. We should never say that He has forgotten us or abandoned us.
WHEN THE WINDS BLOW:
Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the ocean, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.
Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. “Are you a good farmhand?” the farmer asked him. “Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,” answered the man.
Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work. Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!”
The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, “No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.” Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away.
The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.
Moral: When you’re prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm.
THE STRANGER IN THE GARDEN:
Once upon a time there was a man who had a big garden. He had planted many fruit trees and cared for them till they bear fruits. Now he wanted to pick up the fruits and sell them to make money for his family.
One fine day while picking fruits with his son, the man saw a stranger sitting on the branch of a tree and picking the fruits. This man become angry and shouted, “Hey you! What are you doing on my tree? Aren’t you ashamed of stealing fruits in the day time?” The stranger on the branch just looked at the gardener but didn’t reply, and continued picking the fruits. The gardener was very angry and shouted again, “For a whole year I have taken care of these trees, you have no right to take the fruits without my permission so come down at once!”
The stranger on the tree answered, “Why should I come down? This is the garden of God and I am the servant of God, so I have the right to pick these fruits and you should not interfere between the work of God and his servant.” The gardener was very surprised at this answer and thought of a plan. He called his son and said, “go bring a rope and get this man down from the tree.” His son brought the rope and the gardener ordered him to tie the stranger to the tree. The gardener then took a stick and started to beat the stranger. The stranger began to scream. “Why are you beating
me? You have no right to do this.”
The gardener paid no attention and continued beating him. The stranger screamed, “Don’t you fear God, you are beating an innocent man? The gardener answered, “Why should I fear? This wood in my hand belongs to God and I am too the servant of God, so I have nothing to fear, and you shouldn’t interfere with the work of God and his servant.” The stranger hesitated and then spoke, “Wait don’t beat me, I am sorry for taking the fruits. This is your garden and I should seek your permission before taking the fruits. So, please forgive and set me free.”
The gardener smiled and said, “Since you have now realized your mistake, I will forgive you but remember that God has given all his servants brains so every person’s deeds are in his own hands.” Then the gardener untied him and let him go free.