Thursday, December 8, 2011

Which Sea are You?

I was reading one of my Christmas books the other day, and I found this story, and remembered how much I loved it when I read it last year.  We have been to Israel (Palestine when this story was written in 1928), and seen both the Dead Sea, and the Sea of Galilee.  They are both beautiful and majestic in their own way, but the Dead Sea is truly dead, as is everything around it.  It gives life to nothing, it sustains no one but itself.  It is truly selfish.  This story causes me to ponder:  Which sea am I?  It is helpful to ponder this, especially at Christmas time, when we are so tempted to make the holiday season about what we are getting, rather than what we give.  It reminded me that I need to focus on others, and that this is the way that I can truly have the most joy at Christmas time and throughout the year.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  These are pictures I took on our trip to Israel--you can read about it HERE, it was truly a life changing experience that I will never forget!  Enjoy:

There are Two Seas
By, Bruce Barton
There are two seas in Palestine.
One is fresh, and fish are in it. Splashes of green adorn its banks. Trees spread their branches over it and stretch out their thirsty roots to sip of its healing waters. Along its shores the children play as children played when He was there. He loved it. He could look across its silver surface when He spoke His parables.
And on a rolling plain not far away He fed five thousand people. The river Jordan makes this sea with sparkling water from the hills. So it laughs in the sunshine. And men build their houses near to it, and birds their nests; and every kind of life is happier because it is there.
The river Jordan flows on south into another sea. Here no splash of fish, no fluttering of leaf, no song of birds, no children’s laughter. Travelers choose another route, unless on urgent business. The air hangs heavy above its water, and neither man nor beast nor fowl will drink.
What makes this mighty difference in these neighbor seas? Not the river Jordan. It empties the same good water into both. Not the soil in which they lie; not the country round about.
This is the difference. The Sea of Galilee receives but does not keep the Jordan. For every drop that flows into it another drop flows out. The giving and receiving go on in equal measure.
The other sea is shrewder, hoarding its income jealously. It will not be tempted into any generous impulse. Every drop it gets, it keeps.
The Sea of Galilee gives and lives. The other sea gives nothing. It is named The Dead.
There are two kinds of people in the world. There are two seas in Palestine.

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