Doug Johnson: Story is a reminder that it is a small world after all
Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 1, 2023
Many years ago, two young men were working their way through Stanford University. At one point their money was almost gone, so they decided to engage the great pianist Paderewski for a concert and use the profits for board and tuition.
Paderewski’s manager asked for a guarantee of $2.000. The students worked hard to promote the concert, but they came up $400 short.
After the performance, they went to the musician, gave him all the money they had raised, and promised to pay the $400 as soon as they could. It appeared that their college days were over.
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“No, boys, that won’t do,” said the pianist. “Take out of this $1,600 all your expenses, and keep for each of you 10 percent of all the balance for your work. Let me have the rest.”
Years passed. Paderewski became premier of Poland following World War I. Thousands of his countrymen were starving. Only one man could help– the head of the U.S. Food and Relief Bureau, Herbert Hoover. Paderewski’s appeal to him brought thousands of tons of food. Later he met the American statesman to thank him.
“That’s all right,” replied Herbert Hoover. “Besides, you don’t remember, but you helped me once when I was a student in college.”
Perhaps you have heard the song “It’s A Small World After All.” The idea captured in that song is absolutely true. We meet a lot of people throughout our lives from different races and backgrounds. Some are tall, some are short. Some are rich, some are poor. But we are all connected together in one way or another.
In fact, we have more similarities than differences. The human race began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve — so we all have the same original ancestors.
We all need food to nourish our bodies, water to quench our thirst, and clean air to breathe. Cut us and we bleed… wound us and we feel pain… love us and we learn to love.
And the same God that made us this way also created us to be dependent on each other.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 3:17-18= “If someone has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need, and won’t help him– how can God’s love be within him? Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.” The truth is: we need each other.
While it is true that humans are separated by oceans and divided by borders, deep down inside we are a lot alike. And no matter what you are facing today, remember that you are loved by God– the One who gave everything for you. And He commands us to take care of one another.
So be careful how you treat others… you may need their help someday!
Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.