You Get What You Give
June 20, 2020
In a village in a bygone era, a couple of farmers, John and Smith, were ready to have their lunch. Both of them had packed loaves of bread. John had packed three loaves while Smith had packed five.
They were about to start their meal when a traveler rode by on horseback. Seeing the two farmers, the traveler dismounted the horse and walked towards them. He looked tired and exhausted.
“Good day to you, sirs. I am from a faraway town, and I have not eaten anything for two days now. Can you spare some food for me,” he said.
John and Smith were kind-hearted, so they invited the traveler to share their food.
“Between the two of us, we have eight loaves of bread. How do we divide this between the three of us?” John asked Smith
“Let’s stack up our eight loaves of bread and cut them into three equal parts, that way we can share the bread equally,” Smith responded.
They agreed. It was a smart plan. The eight loaves were cut into 24 pieces of bread to be shared equally amongst the three of them. Each of them consumed eight slices of bread.
The traveler was very grateful for the kind gesture of the two farmers. He had not told either of them earlier-He was a nobleman who was going on an important assignment, representing the King.
“I would have starved to death if you kind gentlemen had not shared your food with me. Even though it was just bread, it was better than a big feast for me. Please accept these gold coins as my token of appreciation”. Saying this, the nobleman handed out eight gold coins for John and Smith to share.
After the nobleman left, and an argument ensued between John and Smith.
“There are two of us, and eight gold coins, so we should take four each,” suggested John.
“But that’s not fair,” argued Smith. “I contributed five loaves of bread, and you contributed only three, so it is only fair that I should take five coins, and you should get three coins”.
John did not want to give in. All the loaves of bread between the two of them were not worth even one gold coin. So why should Smith get a more significant share?
Instead of quarreling further, they decided to refer the problem to the wise Priest at the church. They went across to the church and told him what had happened. The Priest was also confused…” What is the right call to take?”
“Let me sleep over this issue. I will ask for some divine guidance on this matter. Come and meet me tomorrow morning”, the Priest told John and Smith.
In the night, when in prayer, the Priest got a flash of guidance. He knew what the right decision was.
The next morning, John and Smith went over to the church where the Priest gave out the verdict “The fair way to divide these eight gold coins is to give seven coins to Smith and only one coin to John.”
“Huh? Why do I deserve only one gold coin, and why should Smith get seven coins. Where is the justice in this” an agitated John demanded.
The Priest gave his explanation, thus.
“John’s three loaves were divided into nine pieces, while Smith’s five loaves became fifteen pieces.
Out of the nine pieces that John had, he consumed eight pieces and shared one piece with the traveler.
Out of the fifteen pieces that Smith had, he consumed eight parts, and the traveler got seven pieces.
So in effect, John’s contribution was one part while Smith’s was seven parts. Therefore, the distribution of the gold coins must be in the same proportion.”
While this story is interesting from a mathematical standpoint, there is a more significant spiritual takeaway. What we have is of no consequence. Our contribution to others will determine the what we will attract into our life. Abundance is less about what we have and more about what we give. When you are a giver, you don’t have to keep track of what you are giving. There is a higher source that will keep track and get you more than your fair share- You have to be a giver !!