I told these two stories in my sermon on Sunday, but, because most of my own members missed church, they are worth repeating:
A little country church was in financial trouble. It developed a leak in the roof, so the pastor started visiting members to ask them to increase their giving. She was talking to a farmer one day and said, “Joe, if you had a million dollars, would you give 10 percent of it to the church?”
“Sure I would, pastor. You know I love the church.”
“I know you do Joe. And if you had 10,000 acres would you sell a bit of it to help put a new roof on the church?”
“Why, I’m surprised you’d even ask. Of course I would.”
“I figured you would,” the pastor said. “And, Jim, if you had some pigs would you sell a couple of them and give the money to the church?”
There was a long pause, and Jim finally said, “Pastor, that ain’t a fair question. You know I’ve got some pigs.”
While I have you in the country …
Another farmer always won the blue ribbon at the state fair for the best corn. No one could understand why his was the biggest and the best every year. His land wasn’t richer. It was right smack dab in the middle of all of the other farms. Most perplexing was the fact that he always gave away his best seed corn.
One day someone asked the farmer how he expected to keep winning blue ribbons if he kept giving his best seed corn away. The old man’s answer proved that he was very wise. “You see, the wind pollinates every ear of corn. It blows pollen from all of my neighbors’ fields into mine. If I didn’t help them improve their crops mine could never really improve.”
That’s how life works. If we would stop working so hard to “get ours” and work a little harder to help others “get theirs” we might discover life is less likely to “get us.” Serving others in need is the best way I know to meet many of our own deepest needs.
Rev. Michael Piazza