"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Tale of Two Young Brothers

Once there were two young brothers who had spent all of their lives in the city, and had never even seen a field of pasture. So one day they decided to take a journey into the countryside. As they walked along, they saw a farmer plowing his field, and they were puzzled over what it was he was doing.

"What strange behavior is this?" they asked themselves. "This fellow marches  back and forth all the day long, scarring the earth with long troughs. Why should anyone destroy such a lovely meadow like this?"

Later in the day they passed the same place once again, and this time they saw the farmer sowing grains of wheat in the furrows.

"Now what does this fellow do?" they asked themselves. "Surely he is a madman! For he takes perfectly good wheat and tosses it into these ditches he has made!"

"The country is no place for me," said one of the brothers. "The people here act as though they had no sense. I shall return home." And he did indeed return to the city.

But the second brother remained in the country, and a few weeks later he saw a wondrous change. Fresh young green shoots began to cover the field with a lushness he had never imagined. He quickly wrote to his brother and told him to hasten back and see the miraculous growth.

So his brother returned from the city, and he also was amazed at the change he saw before him. As the days passed they saw that the green earth of the field became golden with tall wheat. And now they understood, in part, the reason for the farmer's labor.

The wheat in the field grew ripe, and the farmer came with his scythe and began to cut it down. The brothers from the city were astounded. "What is this fool doing now?" they exclaimed. "All summer long he labored so hard to grow this beautiful wheat, and now he destroys it with his own hands! He is indeed a madman after all! I have had enough," said the one brother. "I shall return to the city."

But his brother, again, had greater patience. He remained in the country and watched as the farmer collected the wheat and took it into his granary. He watched and saw how cleverly the farmer separated the chaff, and how carefully he stored the rest. And he was filled with awe and wonder when he realized that by scarring the field and sowing the bag of seed, and by tending to it day after day, the farmer had harvested a whole field full of golden grain. Only then did he truly understand that the farmer had a reason for every single thing he had done.

"And this too is how it is with God's work," the young man thought to himself. "We mortal creatures see only the beginnings of His plan, and that with no understanding. So we must, in all humility, have faith with patience and trust in His Divine Wisdom for the harvest."

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From "The Book of Virtues", by William Bennet. The actual author of this story was not listed and I took the liberty to edit it a little.

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