In the marvelous book, Jesus in the Home, psychographed by Chico Xavier and inspired by the spirit Neio Lucio, there is a parable that Jesus gave in the home of one of his disciples, which explains what should be our first order of business.
As an aside, my family reads passages out of this book during our weekly Christian Spiritist gathering. This parable got the most attention from the entire group (includes grandmother, parents and kids).
It deals with what we all love to do, concern ourselves with other people’s business before our own. Similar to the plank in our own eye passage in the New Testament.
The story is in Chapter 36, “The Tough Problem”, on page 137, in Jesus in the Home. There was a discussion on what was the most difficult problem to overcome in the quest for Divine Enlightenment. Upon hearing others give their opinions, Jesus then told his parable.
He opened the story, setting the stage with a wise man with three sons. All three were arguing about what was the most difficult hurdle to overcome in life. Hearing the commotion, the father told all three that he was going to send them to the palace on a mission. They were to bring gifts which would display their friendship to the king.
“The first would bear a costly vase made of precious clay.
The second would take a rare breed of deer.
The third would carry an exquisite cake made by the family.” [p. 138]
All three were excited to walk to the palace, which was only three miles away. Of course, as they walked together, each was more preoccupied with the conduct of the other than their own situation.
“The bearer of the vase didn’t agree with the way the one brother was leading the delicate deer, and the one in charge of the animal told the one carrying the cake to be careful not to trip and ruin the delicacy. This last one warned the bearer of the valuable vase not to drop it.” [p. 138]
Of course we can all see where this is going to end!
“At one particular moment the brother who was leading the deer forgot about his own job in order to correct the position of the clay piece in his brother’s arms, and jostled during their argument, the vase suddenly fell and broke to smithereens on the stony gravel.
When the vase broke, the distracted guide of the deer lost control of the animal, which escaped in fear into a nearby forest.
Trying to prevent the deer from fleeing, the one carrying the cake ran after it into the forest and the contents of the silver tray splattered on the ground.” [p. 138]
The wise father, upon hearing the recriminations from each brother onto the others, smiled at told his sons;
“Learn from the lesson of the road. If each of you had been minding your own business, you wouldn’t have reaped the darkness of failure. The most complicated problem in the world, my sons, is that everyone should take care of their own business without meddling in the business of others. As long as we are thinking about other people’s responsibilities, we forget about our won.” [p. 138]
The parable is so basic, all of us knew how the story would go at the mere mention of three brothers and their arguments. But how difficult it is to follow the advice. After all, the problems and follies of others are much more interesting than our own.