A Lesson from the Sea of Galilee

There are two seas.
One is fresh, and fish are in it.
Splashes of green adorn its banks.
Trees spread their branches over it and
stretch out their thirsty roots to sip of its healing waters.
Along its shores the children play, as children have played for 2,000 years.
The river Jordan makes this sea with sparkling water from the hills.
So it laughs in the sunshine.
Men build their houses near it, and birds their nests;
and every kind of life is happier because it is there.

The river Jordan flows on south into another sea.
Here is no splash of fish, no fluttering leaf,
no song of birds, no children’s laughter.
Travelers choose another route, unless on urgent business.
The air hangs heavy above its water, and
neither man nor beast nor fowl will drink.

What makes this mighty difference in these two seas?
Not the river Jordan. It empties the same good water into both.
Not the soil in which they lie; not in the country round about.
This is the difference.

The Sea of Galilee receives but does not keep the Jordan.
For every drop that flows into it another drop flows out.
The giving and receiving go on in equal measure.
The other sea is shrewder, hoarding its income jealously.
It will not be tempted into any generous impulse.
Every drop it gets it keeps.
The Sea of Galilee gives and lives.
The other sea gives nothing. It is named The Dead.

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