In anticipation of the release of my second book, Inspiration from the Morning Man, I have been sharing some of the messages that made it in there. Today’s was based on a story I read online.
During the cold war, a huge wall was built across the middle of the city of Berlin, to separate the communist east from the capitalist west. As the animosity started to grow between the two halves of the world, the two halves of the city, started to act out the global conflict on a smaller scale. Those who were once neighbours, were now enemies, and took every opportunity to get one up on each other.
One day, the people on the east thought it would be funny to fill a truck with garbage and dump it on the west side. The following day, the people of the west filled a truck, hoisted its bed high over the wall and dumped its content on the east side. The East Berliners, resigned to the fact that they had been paid back in their own coin, proceeded to clean up the mess, only to find that, instead of garbage, their neighbours to the west had revenged by dumping a truckload of provisions. Boxes of cheese, milk, biscuits, tinned fish and bread. On top of the great pile of food was a piece of card with five words written on it:
"You give what you have".
How true. The West Berliners, with one simple act, had demonstrated the difference between right and wrong - the difference between good and bad.
You see, it's easy to think that the people of West Berlin had food and no garbage, while those on the east had just garbage and no food. But of course, that will not be accurate. There was some food on the east side, just not a lot of it. In the same way, the west had some garbage, but not much. Each side gave what they had in excess.
Each of us is the same. We both have good AND bad in us. A serial killer can love his mother, just as a priest can rape a child. Each of us has a supply of light and dark, but it is what we have in excess that we share with the world.
I've always wondered why the bible says, "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks". Why didn't just say "out of the heart, the mouth speaks"?
Well, if you think about it, Jesus was illustrating the fact that we all have good and bad in us but not in equal parts. We get to decide which part we wish to have in abundance, and it is only that which we have in abundance that we can share with our neighbours.
That is where our choice lies. In all our daily endeavours - the people we interact with, the books we read, the shows we watch on TV, the stations we tune into every morning, the thoughts and feelings we harbour about our fellow men and women… are our minds filled with drive or despair? Do we think of hope or hate? Faith or fear Doom or destiny? Whatever we consume, that we become. There's only a limited storage space in us, so whatever we focus more on, that we shall have in abundance.
A couple of verses on, in that same Chapter 12 of the Book of Matthew, Jesus says, "a good man brings good things out of the good stored in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in him".
So my friends, as we start a new week, I want us to each ask ourselves, what are we storing up? Like the two halves of cold war Berlin, there are both provisions and garbage in us - both light and dark. Nobody is all good and nobody is all bad, but what shall we share with our neighbours this week?
Ok, just one last thing from the Bible, then I’ll shut up, I promise. Paul said this to the Philippians: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent and praiseworthy, think about such things", after all, "you give what you have".
My name is Kojo Yankson, and I've been storing all the positivity I can find - so I can dump it over your wall.
GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO!