Once there was a father and son who farmed a small vegetable garden in the hills. Several times a year they would load their ox cart and travel to the nearest city to sell their produce for their simple needs.
Although they looked much the same the father and son were of different temperaments. The older man was slow moving and calm of disposition. The son was fiery of personality and always in a hurry.
They load their cart and start the sojourn to the city. The father snoozes in the cart, hat pulled down over his eyes. The son goads the ox and resentfully thinks “Doesn’t the old man realize that in order to get the best prices for our vegetables we must be there first?”
Several miles down the road the father says, “This is your uncle’s farm, let’s stop here to visit.” The boy simmers but says nothing.
On the road again they come to a fork. The older man turns the ox cart toward the right. “No Father”, says the son, “to the left is much faster.” “But the right fork is so much more scenic.” The boy sighs.
At twilight the Father says, “We’ll stop here for the night.” The son erupts “This is the last time I come with you. We are not going to get the best prices for our produce!
The next morning father and son encounter another
farmer whose cart is stuck in a ditch. The son doesn’t want to stop to give aid. The father insists they help. The son seethes.
It’s almost 8 o’clock in the morning now. Suddenly a great flash of light split the sky and what sounded like thunder followed. The sky beyond the hills toward the city grew dark.
“Looks like rain in the city” says the old man.“If we had hurried, we might have sold out by now” grumbles the son.
In the afternoon they finally arrive at the hill overlooking the city to which they are traveling. They stare down in unspeakable dismay and horror. There is no city, just smoldering rubble. They turn their ox cart and begin the slow journey home from what had been Hiroshima, Japan. The date is August 6, 1945.
There is nothing, nothing as important as relationships.
Relationships are the only thing that last – Relationship to the Lord Above and relationships to our friends and family Below (Matthew 22:35-40).