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Thursday, April 3, 2014

“The Turn of the Tide.” and other stories

Arthur Gordon shares a wonderful, intimate story of his own spiritual renewal in a little story called “The Turn of the Tide.” It tells of a time in his life when he began to feel that everything was stale and flat. His enthusiasm waned; his writing efforts were fruitless. And the situation was growing worse day by day.

Finally, he determined to get help from a medical doctor. Observing nothing physically wrong, the doctor asked him if he would be able to follow his instructions for one day.

When Gordon replied that he could, the doctor told him to spend the following day in the place where he was happiest as a child. He could take food, but he was not to talk to anyone or to read or write or listen to the radio. He then wrote out four prescriptions and told him to open one at nine, twelve, three, and six o’clock.

“Are you serious?” Gordon asked him.

“You won’t think I’m joking when you get my bill!” was the reply.

So the next morning, Gordon went to the beach. As he opened the first prescription, he read “Listen carefully.” He thought the doctor was insane. How could he listen for three hours? But he had agreed to follow the doctor’s orders, so he listened.He heard the usual sounds of the sea and the birds. After a while, he could hear the other sounds that weren’t so apparent at first. As he listened, he began to think of lessons the sea had taught him as a child—patience, respect, an awareness of the interdependence of things. He began to listen to the sounds—and the silence—and to feel a growing peace.

At noon, he opened the second slip of paper and read “Try reaching back.” “Reaching back to what?” he wondered. Perhaps to childhood, perhaps to memories of happy times. He thought about his past, about the many little moments of joy. He tried to remember them with exactness. And in remembering, he found a growing warmth inside.

At three o’clock, he opened the third piece of paper. Until now, the prescriptions had been easy to take. But this one was different; it said “Examine your motives.”

At first he was defensive. He thought about what he wanted—success, recognition, security, and he justified them all. But then the thought occurred to him that those motives weren’t good enough, and that perhaps therein was the answer to his stagnant situation.

He considered his motives deeply. He thought about past happiness. And at last, the answer came to him.

“In a flash of certainty,” he wrote, “I saw that if one’s motives are wrong, nothing can be right. It makes no difference whether you are a mailman, a hairdresser, an insurance salesman, a housewife—whatever. As long as you feel you are serving others, you do the job well. When you are concerned only with helping yourself, you do it less well—a law as inexorable as gravity.”

When six o’clock came, the final prescription didn’t take long to fill. “Write your worries on the sand,” it said. He knelt and wrote several words with a piece of broken shell; then he turned and walked away. He didn’t look back; he knew the tide would come in.


Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question was: What do women really want?

Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men, and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.

Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer. But the price would be high as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.. The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table, and Arthur's closest friend!

Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc. He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life.  He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden, but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur. He said nothing was too big a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus: "What a woman really wants," she said, "is to be in charge of her own life." Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared.

And so it was, the neighboring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding.

The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen, lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened. The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.

"Which would you prefer? she asked him. "Beautiful during the day or at night?"

Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day he could have a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch! Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous, intimate moments with?

(If you are a man reading this ...) What would YOUR choice be?
,(If you are a woman reading this ..) What would YOUR MAN'S choice be?

What Lancelot chose is below:
A little girl wanted to become a great pianist, but all she could play on the piano was the simple little tune, "Chopsticks." No matter how hard she tried, that was the best she could do. Her parents decided after some time to arrange for a great maestro to teach her to play properly. Of course, the little girl was delighted.

When the little girl and her parents arrived at the maestro's mansion for the first lesson, they were escorted by the butler into the parlor, where they saw a beautiful concert grand piano. Immediately, the little girl dashed over to the piano and began playing "Chopsticks." Her embarrassed parents started across the room to tell her to stop, but as she played, the maestro entered the room and encouraged the little girl to continue.

The maestro then took a seat on the piano bench next to the little girl, listening to her play. After a moment he began to play along with her, adding chords, runs, and arpeggios. The little girl continued to play "Chopsticks." The parents couldn't believe their ears. They were hearing a beautiful piano duet, played by their daughter and the maestro, and amazingly enough, the central theme of it was still "Chopsticks."

At times you may feel like you're nobody, that you will never accomplish great things. But think of that little girl. All she could play was "Chopsticks." Nobody wanted to hear "Chopsticks." It was an embarrassment to her parents and annoying to everyone else. Yet the maestro encouraged her to keep on playing.

God knows what you can do. He created you with gifts and talents. Sure, compared to some people's abilities, your gifts and talents may seem like "Chopsticks"-- not very original and not very spectacular. But God says, "Keep on playing--and make some room on the piano bench for Me." 

The soul always knows what to do to heal
Once there was a farmer who discovered that
he had lost his watch in the farm.
It was not an ordinary watch because
it  had sentimental value for him.

After searching the hay for a long while;
he gave up and called the help of a group
of children playing outside the barn.
He promised them that, the person who found it,
would be rewarded. Hearing this, the children hurried
inside the barn, went through and around the
hay but still could not find the watch.
Just when the farmer was
about to give up looking for his watch,
a little boy went up to him and asked
 to be given another chance.The farmer looked
at him and thought, “Why not.? After all,
this kid looks sincere enough.”

So the farmer sent the little boy back in the barn.
After a while the little boy
came out with the watch in his hand..!
The farmer was happy and surprised
and so he asked the boy how he succeeded
where the rest had failed...!

The boy replied, “I did nothing but sit on the ground
and listen. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch
and just looked for it in that direction.”

MESSAGE  : A Peaceful mind can think better
than a Worked up mind. Allow a few minutes of Silence
to ur mind every day, nd see, how sharply it helps
u to set ur life the way u expect it to be..!

MORAL :The soul always knows what to do to heal itself..
The challenge is to silence the mind…

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