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GOD KNOWS BEST

GOD made the sun, the moon, and the stars. He also made this beautiful earth on which we live. He is our Almighty Father. We are His beloved children.

God is, therefore, pleased when we talk to him with faith and love. He listens even to our silent call and prayer. But remember, our call must be sincere. Our prayer too should be for the right thing. Otherwise, God will be displeased and we would be unhappy.

Shambhu was a cobbler living in Mohoor village. He was known even in the neighbouring villages as an honest worker and a God-fearing man. He worked all day stitching new shoes and mending old ones. Thereby, he earned enough to support himself and his family.

One day, the Zamindar of Mohoor and other nearby villagers passed by Shambhu’s small hut. Shambhu watched the Zamindar dressed in rich robes and riding the horse like a king. “Ah! There goes our Zamindar,” said Shambhu to himself. “He owns twenty villages. He has enough wealth to buy a gold mine. His life is full of joys and pleasures; and here I am, working all day, cutting leather and stitching shoes. Why is God so unkind to me?”

As Shambhu thought of God, his eyes turned to the picture of Lord Vithal of Pandharpur on the wall. Innocently, Shambhu started talking to his beloved God. “My dear Lord, you are my Almighty Father. You are my loving Mother. You are watching me at work from morning to night. Don’t you have any pity for me? Give me a big house to live in, a field to grow jowar, and also enough money to buy some nice things for myself, my wife and my children!”

As Shambhu uttered these words he felt that Lord Vithoba in the picture gave him a smile. “Surely Vithoba has heard my prayer,” Shambhu said to himself. But why did he smile at me? Did I ask for too much?”

That night, Lord Vithoba appeared in the Zamindar’s dream and said, “Cobbler Shambhu of Mohoor is my devotee. I want you to help him. Build for him a big house. Give him a pot-full of gold-coins. Transfer two acres of land in his name. You will earn my blessings.”

The Zamindar did as commanded by Lord Vithoba. Shambhu could not believe his own good luck. He stopped working with leather and shoes. His whole family began working in the field, ploughing the land and sowing seeds. They felt that God had given them all they desired.

But soon, Shambhu began getting into trouble. His relatives from far and near flocked into his new house. Every day they would quarrel among themselves over something or the other. Shambhu could not find a safe place in the house for the pot of gold-coins. He buried it in a corner of his field. But the fear that thieves might steal away the treasure deprived him of all his peace of mind and even sleep at night. The crops too failed that year. Shambhu’s family, therefore, did not get from the field even a single grain of jowar.

Thus, Shambhu lost all his peace and joy in life. He grew sadder and weaker every day. But he came out a wiser man. One day, he stood before Vithoba’s picture and said, “My Lord! Now I realise why you smiled at me when I asked for a house, wealth, and land. Those things have not added to my happiness. In fact, they have robbed me of my peace, contentment, sound sleep, good health, and joy. Forgive me for my selfishness and greed. Give me back my hard and honest work. Let me serve my brothers and sisters, making or mending shoes for them. Fill my heart with love and devotion. Hereafter, I will do my duty and leave the rest to you. You, my dear Lord, know best what is good for your beloved children.”

QUESTIONS:

  1. Why should we love God?
  2. Why did cobbler Shambhu become unhappy even though God gave him what he wanted?
  3. Suppose God asks you, “What do you want?” what would be your reply?
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