A True Friend
"The measure of life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation." -Peter Marshall
A ship was wrecked during a storm at sea, and only two sailors survived. They reached a small, deserted island.
The two sailors were good friends, but they agreed that they should separate to avoid fighting with each other over food and shelter. They split up and lived on opposite sides of the island.
The first sailor prayed to God for food. The next morning he discovered a tree bearing fruit on his side of the island. From a hill, he saw his friend still scrambling to find something to eat. "God must have heard my prayers, but not his," he thought.
That night he prayed for fresh water, and the next day he found a spring. The other sailor had to ration his own water and wait for rain.
Lonely, the sailor prayed for a companion, and soon after a small dog came swimming up to the beach, the survivor of another shipwreck. But the second sailor was still alone.
And so it went. The first sailor got everything he prayed for, while the second one struggled to survive.
One night the sailor prayed for rescue. And the very next day a ship sailed into sight on his side of the island. He jumped and waved, and soon a boat was sent to shore. The sailor and his dog eagerly jumped in, and the rescuers started rowing back to the ship.
Then a voice came into his head. "What about your friend?" the voice asked.
Believing he was hearing God, the sailor said, "We both prayed, but only my prayers were answered. Why should I do anything for him?"
"You both prayed," the voice agreed. "But while you prayed only for yourself, your friend asked that your prayers should be answered."
Realizing the truth, the sailor immediately had the boat turn around to rescue his generous friend.
During this season, let's remember: we're not alone.
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