There was once a king who was preparing to celebrate his silver jubilee. He summoned his subjects throughout his kingdom and said to them, “Please I need your help. It will soon be 25 years since I ascended the throne of my forefathers. I want you all to come and celebrate with me. It is going to be a grand feast. I only need a bottle of wine from each and every one of you. The rest of the food, meat, drinks, and fruits will be provided by me.” The villagers all happily agreed and went home to prepare.

However, there was a wise man who thought to himself, “If I bring a bottle of water instead of wine, it wouldn’t make any difference, since everyone else will bring a bottle of wine, it will be like a drop of water in the ocean. What a smart idea!”

On the day of the feast, the wise man brought his water concealed as wine in a tinted bottle and poured it into the large container that was kept for wine. So, when it was time for refreshment, the king was served drink first according to their custom. He drank it, nodded his head, and smiled at his wonderful people. Then he gave his blessing for the banquet to start.

Few minutes after eating and drinking began, people started murmuring and complaining that instead of wine, they have been served water. Soon, the news got to the king, but he showed no sign of displeasure or surprise. Instead, he took time to finish his food, then he stood up and spoke to his subjects, “My dear people, I love you all. And you know I have been your king for 25 years. So, it could be right to say that I know my subjects, and my subjects know me. This is a great kingdom, but we could have been greater if we are less selfish in dealing with one another. I purposely asked each one of you to bring only a bottle of wine, while I take care of other expenses. But what did you do? Did you keep to the agreement? You all brought me a bottle of water, because you are confident that your neighbour will bring a bottle of wine. You even have the audacity to complain, believing you are better than those who served you water instead of wine.”

At this point, the villagers looked at one another and bowed their heads in shame. The king continued, “Unfortunately, as you have just found out, we were all thinking the same way. What you thought was a smart idea, was indeed a foolish and selfish act that originated from your wicked hearts. I did not show any displeasure or surprise when I drank my water, because unlike you I know that what I was served is the cumulative result of our selfishness. It was only Jesus that put in water and got wine out. No ordinary human being has done that. If you drop banana peel on the floor instead of the garbage bin, you could turn around and step on it. Even if no one steps on it, it will rot and stink until someone comes along to do the needful. Learn to do the right thing from today, and do not hope that someone else will do the good you don’t do. The measure you give is the measure you will take!”

About the Author:
 Author Photo Chidi is a Sr. Technical Systems Analyst working in downtown Toronto, Canada.