Lessons from the Philippines
The following are not original with me, in that they were stories shared from the pulpit from some churches I visited while in the Philippines. Some things I decided to change for clarity for a mostly American readership. An example of these changes would be converting pesos to its USD equivalent.
The Three Sons; by Monsignor Thi from Viet Nam
There once was a rich man who had three sons. He was growing old and knew he would die soon. But, he could not decide which of his sons he should leave his vast fortune to.
One day he had an inspiration. He called his three sons to a dinner party. Once everyone had eaten the elderly man called them to attend him.
“My sons, I have decided to hold a contest. Whoever wins the contest will inherit my fortune” he began. “The rules are simple. I will give each of you one dollar. With that dollar you are to buy whatever you wish. Whoever can fill the little closet in the hall way with the items he purchases will inherit all I have.”
He looked around the table and finished, “You can only fill the room with what ever you can buy for that dollar. Tomorrow at noon I will judge who will be my heir."
The next day at noon the elderly man called forth his sons. He turned to the oldest son first. “Son, what have you bought with you dollar to fill the closet.”
The son turned red with rage, “Father, your rules were unfair. No one could buy anything for a dollar now days. That isn’t enough money for cab fare. You are unfair, and unjust.” He then tossed the dollar at the father’s feet and stood in one corner with his arms folded in defiance.
The father then turned to the second son. “What did you buy with your dollar?”
“Father, I agree with my older brother. You are unfair. I couldn’t buy anything enough to fill a small bag more or less this closet with only a dollar. Your rules are unfair and unjust.” And he too stormed off into a corner with great anger.
The father turned lastly to his youngest son. “Son, what have you bought with your dollar?”
He reached into a small paper bag and pulled out two items and said, “Father, I have bought a candle and a match.”
“A candle and a match?” inquired the father, “but that doesn’t fill he paper bag you have them in, how do you suppose they will fill the closet.”
“Oh, father, once I strike the match and light the candle, it will fill the closet with light.”
The father smiled and announced his youngest son would be his heir of his fortune.
Go forth and fill your world with the Light of Jesus.
The Chop Sticks: by Pastor Gilbert of the New Life United Methodist Church, Quezon City, Philippines.
An old man died and found himself in heaven. St Peter was escorting him around heaven to get him acquainted. They came to a very large dinning room with a very large table. The man sat down at the table and marveled at the food spread out upon it.
On the table were sets of 6 foot long chop sticks. Peter told the man he could eat anything he wished, but had to eat it from the chop sticks only.
Peter then left the man alone. For the rest of the day the man struggled in vain to get something to eat. The chop sticks were simply too long for him to get the food to his mouth.
Just as he was about to give up, other people came into the room. All looked to be well fed and happy. The man in desperation cried out to one lady and said, “How does one eat with these long chop sticks? I have struggled for hours to no avail.”
The lady smiled and said, “Here, we feed one another.”
Happy, Happier, Happiest. Unknown Filipino at my wedding.
During our wedding the pastor asked if anyone had any words of advice. A Filipino man, about 60 stood and said the following.
“When I am alone, I am happy. When I am with my wife, I am happier. But when I am with my wife and children, I am the happiest.” He then paused and said, “With God we must always be content, no matter in what state we are in.”
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