Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sunday Blessings - The Wood Cutter 's Story

The Woodcutter's Wisdom by Max Lucado

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before—such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.

People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused. “This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them. “It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend?” The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see him. “You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”The old man responded, “Don’t speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?”The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.”The old man spoke again. “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?”The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn’t, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. “Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.”The man responded, “Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don’t judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of a phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?“Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is a fragment! Don’t say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don’t.”“Maybe the old man is right,” they said to one another. So they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned with one horse. With a little bit of work, the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.“You were right,” they said. “You proved you were right. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever.”The old man spoke again. “You people are obsessed with judging. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments.”It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again.“You were right, old man,” they wept. “God knows you were right. This proves it. Your son’s accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever.”The old man spoke again. “It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows.”The old man was right. We only have a fragment. Life’s mishaps and horrors are only a page out of a grand book. We must be slow about drawing conclusions. We must reserve judgment on life’s storms until we know the whole story.I don’t know where the woodcutter learned his patience. Perhaps from another woodcutter in Galilee. For it was the Carpenter who said it best: Don 't worry a bout tomorrow, for tomorrowDo not will worry about itself.” (Mt. 6:34)He should know. He is the Author of our story. And he has already writtn the final chapter

Max Lucado

I want to really Live Matthew 6;34 in my life daily.
Let 's make it our prayer.

The paintings I have posted have been done by Maqbool Fida Hussain, (born September 17, 1915, Pandharpur, Maharashtra, India) popularly known as M F Hussain, is a Qatari artist of Indian origin, and has produced a large collection of works over a career spanning seven decades.
According to Forbes magazine, he has been called the "Picasso of India".[2] After there was some controversy regarding his paintings, he was on a self imposed exile from 2006.In January, 2010 he was offered citizenship of Qatar,[3] which he accepted, thus relinquishing his Indian citizenship (As the laws of India does not allow dual citizenship

9 Fertilize my soul:

Anonymous said...

Good morning Amrita

I love Max Lucado's writings. And this is one of his best. The photos you used to relate to the story are excellent. Thanks for sharing it.

God bless you and have a great
Palm Sunday,


Unknown said...

This was a wonderful story-thanks for sharing it.
Have a blessed Sunday.

Kimmie said...

Thank you for taking the time to share that. It speaks to my heart and tells me to not jump ahead of Him. He is on the throne and He is in control.

mama to 8
one homemade and 6 3/4 adopted

Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

Very interesting! Very Buddhist in nature, too, tho' I know it is not meant to be so. "Say only that it is a story!"

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
Indeed, you do fertilize my soul.
A beautiful story and mighty paintings.
Jesu words about" Don 't worry a bout tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Mt. 6:34)keep meeting me these days.
Maybe it's time I start listening.
From Felisol

Amrita said...

Story telling is such a powerful means to getting a simple truth or principle across.Jesus taught through parables too.

All truth originates in God and He has revealed His truthn to mankind in all four cornors of the earth. Its just that men have either denied it or twisted it. Romans chapter 1 talks about it.

The Hindus, Muslims specially the Sufis have many such delightful stories .I love the eAsop 's Fables too.

Amrita said...

Dear Felisol its so easy to fall into the trap of worry, I needed this reminder badly.

the mother of this lot said...

What a loely story!

Gerry said...

I always enjoy a story or a parable about horses. Ha. The painting are nice, too.