Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Patience and Wisdom

Patience and Wisdom!
I read a story recently about a poor farmer. He had one horse he depended on for his Living. (1) His horse pulled the plow and was his only means of transportation. One day a bee stung the horse and it ran away into the mountains.

His neighbors in the village heard and came by to tell him how sorry they were to hear abouthis “bad luck” in losing his horse. The old farmer again said to his neighbors; ” Good luck, Bad luck…who is to say?”

A week later the horse came home and with him were twelve fine wild horses and the old man and his son corralled these fine horses. Again the news of the farmers
windfall spread throughout the village and his neighbors came back to congratulate
him on his good luck. Again the old farmer just shrugged and said; “Good luck, bad luck…who is to say?”
The only son of the farmer was one day trying to tame one of the fine wild horses and the horse threw him off and his leg was broken in three places. When word of the accident spread the villagers came back saying, “ we are sorry to hear of the accident and the bad luck of your son getting hurt. The old farmer just shrugged and said: “Good luck, Bad luck…who is to say?”

Two weeks later war broke out between the provinces…and the army came through
constricting every able bodied man under sixty.The son did not have to go because of his injury…which turned out to save his life because every soldier in the village who went was killedin battle. The old farmer was wise in accepting the fact that we human beings, regardless of advantages or education or money…are not wise enough to make final judgments on what is good luck or bad luck.

He was profoundly wise in accepting his creaturelessness and his inability to make
a final verdict until all the evidence is in. As Paul tells us, ”now we see through a glass darkly” (I Cor. 13)
We are wise to remember that we are not in a position to make a final judgment on some things that happen to us. Some events that have every appearance of bad luck…in the mysterious unfolding of life, may turn out to bring unexpected good.

We may flex our muscles and spout off our learning in the arts and sciences, but I visit in hospitals and nursing homes enough to know... we are not always in charge of our own body.

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