Have you read Leo Tolstoy’s story about three saints that lived on an island in a lake that was in a remote part of Russia? These saints made the lake famous. People were very excited about the miracles these saints were performing. There was a buzz going around all of Russia. Thousands of folks were coming from all over, to see these saints.
Eventually the high priests of the Russian Orthodox Church became concerned about these ‘rumors of saints’ at the lake. They’d not been declared saints by the church, so who was giving them this title? How dare they!
The high priests sent a team of three priests to the lake to investigate the matter. The team of three priests had to take a rowboat to the small island where the so-called saints lived.
When they finally located the three saints, they saw three poor men in simple garbs, just sitting at the shore of the island. It was clear that they were poor, but indeed they were very happy. They were putting their toes in the lake water and delightfully giggling.
When the team of three priests approached them, the saints jumped up and bowed down to the priests in great admiration. One priest angrily said, “What are you doing here?” Another said, “Some people foolishly claim that you are saints.” The third priest said, “do you even know how to pray?”
The three saints looked at each other, and one said, “We are sorry, but we do not know the prayer of your church.” Another saint said, “However, we have a prayer of our own; may we demonstrate it?”
One of the priests angrily said, “Go ahead, what is this prayer that you say.”
One of the saints said, “We came to this prayer when we thought of God as a trinity – ‘God the father’ … God the son … and … God the holy ghost” Another saint said, “So we came up with this prayer.” Then all three saints chimed in, “GOD YOU ARE THREE, … AND SO ARE WE. HOW ABOUT IF WE THREE AND YOU THREE TEAM UP AND THEN THERE ARE SIX OF US WORKING TOGETHER.”
One of the priests became enraged. He shouted, “This is nonsense; it’s blasphemous; you are not saints; you are stupid fools!”
The saints said, “Please sir, then teach us the proper prayer so we may communicate with God.”
One priest immediately went into dialogue and spoke the official prayer of the Russian Orthodox Church. It was long. It was bombastic. It was filled with big words.
The three saints looked at each other. How could they possibly learn that? One saint asked, “Sir, will you repeat it again so we can try to learn it?”
A second priest repeated the dialogue with pomp and circumstance. There was a pause, and then one of the saints asked, “Please sir, just one more time.”
The team of three priests looked down with scorn at the three saints, and briskly walked back to their rowboat to travel to the mainland and tell the high priests that these three men were nothing more than stupid fools; they certainly were not saints.
As the priests rowed off … when in the middle of the lake, they could not believe their eyes. There were those three men, that they’d call stupid fools, running across the top of the water toward their boat; one of them shouting, “Please sirs, tell us the prayer one more time; we’ve not yet quite got it.”
The three priests fell to their knees in the boat and one said, “Please forgive us, for we know not what we do.” Another priest said, “You continue with your prayer.”
This story touches me. It tells me not to allow any organized religion, government, or social order to tell me how to think. Tolstoy did not believe in ready-made patterns of thought. If he did, he’d not have been the creative genius that he was.
When you speak to the infinite, speak as you want to speak. Go deep inside and say what your heart wants to say. Let no man tell you there is a programmed way to reach the almighty power of infinite intelligence.
Become your own genius. YOU ARE MARVELOUSLY MADE AND DESTINED TO WIN AT WHATEVER YOU SET YOUR MIND TO. Please set your mind to achieving the beautiful life you once dreamed of experiencing. Begin now, thinking this way this holiday season.
Please know that you are worthy of all that is good and beautiful. Please share this feeling … spread it around; help others to feel this way about themselves. Now that’s the spirit of true giving. What you give away, you get to keep.
Let me know how Tolstoy’s story has touched you. What does it bring to mind? What lesson can you glean from it? How might you interpret it?
Thank you & blessings
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