On the banks of the River Jordan there once lived a poor fisherman. The great dream of this man’s life was that one day he would be rich. After a hard day’s toil he was walking home in the cool evening toward his little cottage. With his eyes half closed he was dreaming of what he would do when he became rich. He kicked a small bag of pebbles and picked it up. It was like a little leather bag or pouch in which boys keep their marbles. Still mooning the man walked along and absent-mindedly threw the stones into the river. “When I get rich, I’ll have a large house,” he said, and threw away a stone. “I’ll have servants by the score,” and away went another stone plunk into the middle of the river. “I’ll have rich food and wine, books, jewels, and paintings,” and at each word a stone curved through the air and fell into the river with a gurgling splash. He went on until he had only one stone left in his hand. This he kept shaking and bouncing and juggling in his hand as he dreamed along. He came close to his home and the light from the cottage window fell on the stone and it sparkled. Yes, it was a precious stone. He had thrown away a bag of jewels. He had held riches in his hand while he dreamed of what he would do when he got rich. All he had left was this one little stone.
Quickly he ran back along the banks of the Jordan but not one stone could he find. The river had swallowed them up. Who can tell me the lesson hidden in this story? Look before you leap. That’s good. But who can give me a religious lesson. How’s this? Don’t throwaway chances to do good. The first thing that will spoil an image is neglect of opportunity.
Your little job for this week is to remember this story once. The girls are to remember it just once; when they are tempted to backbite or carry tales. Busy souls have no time to be busybodies. Before you speak a word you are master of it. After it is spoken it is master of you. If you backbite you are throwing away chances to do good. The boys; they are happy because they thought the girls were in for it this morning -The boys are to remember the story when they are tempted to complain or grumble.
If you complain you are throwing away spiritual jewels, just like the man on the banks of the River Jordan. We are given a number of chances to prove ourselves each day just as if we were given a bag of jewels. What a pity if we throw them all away!
~ “Heavenwords,” Imprimatur 1941 ~