“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
The tales ran wild ‘round the roaring campfire.
After a long day of labor, the young men were tired.
Their wages in hard, they were happy – at ease.
They would soon return home to their families.
“I’ve a story to share that will make you all laugh!”
Spoke up one of the youths with a sack on his lap.
Said he his sister, “She’s a silly young child.
When I come home with coins, she just squeals and smiles.
Since these coins are so rare, and a privilege to hold,
My sister’s eyes glisten as if she’s seen gold.
And nearly all day, she’ll do just as I ask!
She’ll beg for my chores; complete every task!
For the mere short-lived pleasure to hold a coin tight
In the palm of her hand one morning till night!
The silly part is that she must give it back.
At the end of the day, it’s returned to my sack.
Yet she still loves to hold it as if it were hers.
She treasures its worth like rubies and pearls!”
The story was finished; the laughter died down,
When out of the shadows, there came a deep sound
‘Twas one of the men, who’d grown wise with his age;
Who knew his Creator, and was known as a sage.
“Your story, my son, have you not thought it through?
Does not your sister sound strangely like you?
And not you alone, friend, but each one of us;
For we’ve all been created at one time with dust.
And for just a few years we work hard for our pay.
We plan and we save to keep it some way.
It brings us great joy to hold coins in our hand,
Though truthfully, soon we’ll return to the sand.
Though it’s really not ours, we grasp it so tight.
And like vapor on glass, it will vanish from sight.”
The silence was felt as his words settled in,
As each young man pondered the truth he’d been giv’n.
The coin bags they’d held and carried with care,
Seemed to fade in their luster…and it hardly seemed fair!
“Then what work we for?” spoke a youth in distress,
“Are we not born here to labor then rest?”
“Yes, you should labor for pay, it is true!
But don’t forget this – it belongs not to you.
It will pass to another whom you’ll never know.
But the thing you should value is the worth of your soul.
Because unlike the coin, it alone is your own.
It’s your eternal wages for all you have sown.”