Spiritual Story: Judgement
Long ago, there lived an old man in a village. He was very poor, but even kings were jealous of him because he had an exceptionally beautiful white horse. Many kings offered fabulous prices for the horse, but the man would say, “This horse is more like a family member to me. How can you sell a member of the family?” The man was poor, but he never sold the horse.
One morning, he found that the horse was not in the stable. Upon hearing the news, all the villagers gathered outside the old man’s house and started saying angry words to him like, “You foolish old man! We knew that someday, the prized horse would be stolen. It would have been better if you had sold it. What a misfortune!”
The old man said, “Don’t go so far as to say that. Simply say that the horse is not in the stable. That is a fact; everything else is an opinion. Whether it is a misfortune or a blessing I do not know, because this is just a portion of the complete picture. Who knows what is going to follow next?”
People laughed at the old man. They had always thought that he was a little crazy. But after fifteen days, suddenly one night, the horse returned. It had not been stolen, but had just escaped for a while into the woods. Not only did it come back, but it also brought a dozen other beautiful, wild horses with him.
Upon hearing this, again the people of the village gathered outside the old man’s house and started praising him thus, “Old man, you were right! This was not a misfortune; it has in fact, proved to be a blessing!”
The old man said, “Again you are going too far. Just say that the horse is back, who knows whether it is a blessing or not? It is only a part of the complete picture. How can you judge a whole book by only reading one sentence from it?”
This time, the people could not say much, but they were quite sure that the old man was wrong not to be dancing with joy. Twelve beautiful horses had come to him, along with his legendary horse, without any effort!
Now the old man had a son, who started training the wild horses. However, only a week later, the son fell from one of the horses and broke his legs! Upon hearing this, the people again gathered outside the old man’s house and again they judged. They said, “Again, you were proved right, you old, wise man! The coming of the twelve horses was nothing but a great misfortune! Your only son has lost his legs and now in your old age, since he was your only support, you have no one to take care of you. Oh, this has left you poorer than ever!”
The old man said to them, “You are obsessed with judgment! There is no need to go that far. Say only that my son has broken his legs. Nobody knows whether this is a misfortune or a blessing. Life comes in portions and the entire picture is never given to us.”
After a few weeks, their country went to war and all the young men of the village were forcibly enrolled into the military. Only the old man’s son was left behind, as he was crippled. The whole village was crying and weeping because it was a losing fight and they were sure that most of the young men of the village would never come back. They came to the old man and said to him, “You were right again, old man – your son’s accident has indeed proved to be a blessing. Maybe your son is crippled, but he is still with you! Our sons are gone forever.”
The old man said again, “You go on and on judging. Nobody knows! Only say this that your sons have been forced to enter into the army and my son has not been forced. But only God knows whether it is a blessing or a misfortune.”
Moral: How many of us are like the villagers, always judging and second-guessing the outcome of an event? How much time and energy gets wasted in this kind of needless thought? If one has faith in the Lord, one does not judge the events in one’s life, but instead is assured that all events occur as per the Lord’s wish.