As a boy, my (maternal) grandmother told me the story of two farmers who were nearer than friends and closer than brothers. One could barely live without the other; as they have been knitted and inseparable from childhood.
One day, they looked at each other and said, “What can ever come between us? On earth? From above or underneath? Nothing and absolutely no one!!!” – They BOASTED in themselves.
The next morning as the two men farmed, the devil, having overheard their “BOASTS” the previous night, took a cap popularly called “abeti-aja” by the Yorubas, painted one side “RED” and the other side “WHITE”. He gave these farmers pleasantries and walked through their midst on the farm. One of the farmers said to the other after he left, “Hey there, do you know the man wearing a Red Cap who just walked through the farm?” The other argued hurriedly, “No, he was wearing a White Cap.”
Because each of them was dead sure of what colour he saw, no one succumbed to the other. And in no time, the argument heated up and they started a FIGHT, one claiming that the other was colour blind. The whole village gathered and mocked them saying, “Are these not the men who boasted heaven and earth that nothing could ever separate them or cause a fight?”
When the king heard, he called for them to relay the matter. No one could truly say who was right or wrong until the devil showed up again with his coloured cap. When he was asked why he had done this, he said: “I overheard their boasts and they obviously forgot to put me in my place, so I decided to teach them a lesson.”
Today, I look back and realize that my grandma had taught me two cogent life lessons with this story.
#1. We walk on the same road but in different shoes. We can stand on the same roof top and still have different views.
Life is like a coin, there are always two sides and you have to choose. Around us, there are diverse chances that many never get to use. The same number you call 6 because you are standing at the bottom is also 9 to the man standing at the top.
We might both be right, only if we learn to appreciate and respect each other’s different paradigms.
Patience, a listening heart and mutual respect – PRICELESS!!!
#2. The devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy good things. So, always remember to end your boasts with “BY THE GRACE OF GOD.” That way, you owe everything you are and have to God, who shields us from the devil and all his craftiness. Imagine what a mess the devil would have made of our lives if it hasn’t been for the Grace of God.
Grace, through Faith – A Gift of God.