Christ has risen! Let us rejoice! Let us take time to reflect on life and how to live it the best way we can. Here are five little stories I picked from the pamphlet “A Thought A Day” assembled by a Father from the Society of St. Paul. These are food for thought which will help us come to important realizations in life.
A man once took a piece of white cloth to a dyer to have it dyed black. He was so pleased with the result that, after a time, he went back to him with a piece of black cloth and asked to have it dyed white. But the dyer answered: “A piece of cloth is like a man’s reputation; it can be dyed black, but it cannot be made white again.”
Have you ever noticed rocks in the sea, eaten by the tempest? A furious wave dashes against the rock, another and yet another does likewise, yet the rock is unmoved. But look at it after the storm has subsided, and you will see that the flood has but served to wash and purify it of the defilement it had contracted during the calm. Hereafter, I wish you to be as a rock. A wave dashes against you? Silence. It assails you again. Silence. Say only, “Oh, sweet will of God, I adore you!”
A story is told of two men who were walking along the streets of London, when the music of some wonderful chimes in a nearby cathedral floated through the air. One of the men remarked to the other. “Isn’t that wonderful music?”
“I didn’t hear what you said,” replied the other.
“Aren’t those chimes beautiful?” repeated the first speaker. But again the other man failed to catch the words; and the first speaker said for the third time, “Isn’t that lovely music?”
“It’s no use,” came the answer; “those pesky bells are making so much noise I can’t hear what you say.”
We hear that to which we attune ourselves and, consciously or not, we attune ourselves to that which we wish to hear.
The world of sound contains discordant notes; it also contains sweet harmony. Each person must choose for himself what he desires to hear and set his ears to catch that, and that alone.
The story is told of a little boy who went out with his father one wintry day. The ground was covered with a deep snow that made walking a bit difficult for the little fellow.
Suddenly the little fellow disappeared from alongside his father. The father, thinking that perhaps the little boy had fallen in the snow, stopped and looked behind him. But instead of finding the boy lying in the snow he found the little fellow using his father’s footsteps to walk in.
“I’m all right now, Daddy,” said the boy, “I’m walking in your footsteps.”
Can we as Christians feel safe in letting others, those, perhaps who are not Christians, follow in our footsteps? Do your footsteps lead along the way that Christ would tread if he were here again in flesh, or do they lead to places where he would not or he could not follow? We must remember that even when we are walking along in silence, saying nothing to anyone, we are setting an example if we are known as Christians. Would it be safe for others to follow in our footsteps?
A little boy, not familiar with an echo, thought he heard in the woods the voice of another boy not far off. He shouted: “Hello, there!” and the voice shouted back, “Hello, there!” He cried again: “Who are you?” and the voice replied “Who are you?” He cried once more: “You are a mean boy”; and the cry came back: “You are a mean boy.”
Then this little boy went home and told his mother that there was a bad boy in the woods. His mother understood how it was, and said to him: “Well, speak kindly to him, and see if he does not speak kindly to you.”
The boy went to the woods again and shouted, “You are a good boy.” Of course the echoing reply came, “You are a good boy.”
“I love you,” he said loudly.
“I love you,” replied the faithful echo.
The story of the echo is the story of life. I can formulate for myself some very practical conclusions:
1. My death will be an echo of my life.
2. What I see that is disagreeable and evil in my neighbors is generally the reflection of what I am myself; and what I see that is agreeable and good in my neighbors is usually the reflection of what I am myself.
3. Radiate a charitable smile and a similar smile will be generated and then reflected back to you—for your reward, encouragement, consolation.