Seven Parables and Stories for the Week: Issue 26

Gratitude That God Deserves

There was a man who was immensely thankful to the Lord God because he had been rescued from a life-threatening danger. He asked his friend what he had to do to show his gratitude to God. The friend told him the following story:
There was a man who was in love with a woman and wanted her to marry him. However, she had completely different plans. One day, when they were walking down the street, the woman was almost hit by a car. She survived only thanks to the man who immediately pulled her back to the sidewalk. The woman turned to him and said, “Thanks! I agree to marry you now.”
– What do you think the man was feeling at that moment? – the friend asked.
The man sneered and didn’t answer.
– Guess what, – the friend said, – God may be feeling the same about you now.

Trust God

A man asked a sage:
– Why do I have to obey commandments when I don’t get palpable profit?
– When you are sick, you send for a doctor, don’t you? – the sage replied, – and the doctor prescribes you a medicine. Do you always know why he gives you this or that medicine? You trust the doctor who treats your body, and you take the pill. Why don’t you trust God who heals your soul?

Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. (Deuteronomy 6:17)

Buying Life

There was a businessman who made millions of dollars. He decided that he would finally take a year off work and live in luxury, which he could so easily afford. As soon as he made up his mind, he saw the Angel of Death.
The businessman was adept at bargaining, so he made an attempt to talk the Angel into selling him some time.
– Give me three days and take one third of my wealth.
The Angel of Death refused.
– All right, take two… no, three millions then! Give me just one day to enjoy the beauty of earth and visit my family whom I haven’t seen in ages.
The Angel of Death was adamant.
Then the businessman began begging the Angel to allow him to write a farewell note to his son. The Angel agreed.
“Use time wisely. I couldn’t buy even a single hour of life for all my millions,” the man wrote.

… as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation. (1 Samuel 26:24)

An Empty Pouch

A man who wanted to dedicate all his life to serving God and people but had committed many evil actions came to a wise man.
– I’m a loser, – the man sighed. – I’m haunted by misfortunes.
– You’re like a beggar, – the sage said. – You’re trying to please passers-by but your pouch is empty. It makes your actions imperfect. Here is a valuable piece of advice for you: take care of your soul and enrich it with the joy of serving God; collect the rays of His grace in your soul. It’s the only way for you to be useful to other people. The more heavenly riches you collect in your pouch, the more you will be able to spread it in this world.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21)

A Miser

There was a miser who hid a lot of money in a basement wall. He came to that wall every day to keep an eye on his treasure.
One day, some workers were curious about that man’s weird behavior. They spied on him and stole the money.
The miser was extremely depressed. He was sitting and crying at the basement door all day long.
A wise old man walked past the miser. He asked what had happened. When the miser told him about his loss, the wise man handed him a stone and said, “Here is a stone for you. Hide it in the wall and stop crying. You didn’t spend any of your money so there’s no difference between it and the stone, is there?”

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Cor. 9:6)

Melt The Ice

An elder and his disciple were strolling by the river bank in winter.
– Master, why don’t people understand each other? – the disciple asked. – People talk and read books that teach them to get along with each other, but they still run into an invisible wall. Why does it happen? Is it impossible to teach them?
– Come with me, – the elder said and went to the middle of the river. – Look down. Can you see anything?
– No, I can’t. How can I see anything through the ice?
– There is a world that you don’t know of under the ice. If you melt the ice, it will turn into water that gives life to the whole world. However, if you pour water on the ice, it will freeze and make the ice stronger. The ice that you are talking about can only be melted with love.

And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:26)

Three Masons

There was a magnificent cathedral being built in Central Europe in the XIV century. The supervisor of the construction site was a monk, charged with overseeing all unskilled workers and craftsmen. The monk decided to check the work of stone masons. He picked out three masons and invited them to talk about their work.

He asked the first mason:
– Dear brother, tell me about your job.
The mason stopped to answer the question. His voice was trembling from anger and indignance:
– You see, I sit in front of a stone plate half a meter wide and long. As I hit the stone, I feel how a piece of my life disappears. Can you see my hands? They are worn off and covered with sores. My face is wrinkled and my hair is white. This work will never end. It keeps going day after day. It’s exhausting. Is there an end to it? No! I will die long before the day when the cathedral is built.

The monk went to the second mason:
– Dear brother, – he said, – tell me about your job.
– As you can see, Brother, – the mason responded in a quiet and calm voice, – I sit in front of a one meter wide and one meter high stone plate. As I work my way through the stone, I feel that I create life and the future. See, I have managed to earn a comfortable house for my family, which is much more comfortable than the one I grew up in. My children go to school. Undoubtedly, they will achieve more than I have achieved. It was made possible thanks to my job. I give my skills to the cathedral, and it endowes me with lots of good in return.

The monk came to the third mason:
– Brother, – he said, – tell me about your job.
– You see, brother, – the third mason beamed with joy, - You see, I sit in front of a stone plate one meter high and half a meter wide and long. Every time I hit it with my tools I feel that I cut out my fate. Can you see the amazing traits showing up from the stone? As I sit here, I don’t just put my skills to use, I contribute to the things that I value and believe in. The Universe reflected in this cathedral will pay every one of us back. As I sit here, I am at peace with myself, and I know that even if I don’t see this cathedral finished, it will remain for thousands of years and demonstrate the truth we find inside us. I’m happy to be serving the purpose that the Almighty set for me.
The monk went away and kept thinking about the things he had heard. He fell asleep and had a very peaceful dream. The following day, he renounced his duties of a supervisor and offered his post to the third mason.

Translated from: https://azbyka.ru/days