Shelter from the Storm
By Larry Fine
A group of teenagers on a camping trip to a forest were caught in a sudden storm that turned nasty. The heavy rain quickly turned their campground into a disaster. Part of a mountain turned into a mud slide and with luck they were able to get out of their tents before the mud covered everything including their food stock and water supply. The youngsters were fortunate to escape if only with the clothes on their back.
Realizing they were in danger, they knew they must get out of this dangerous and water logged area and seek a shelter until the storm passes over; then they could try to find their way back to civilization. But no one knew in which direction to go, so they decided that the main objective should be just to look for some type of shelter for the moment.
After deciding on a direction to walk, they began walking in a pouring rain. Visibility was low, and hail began to pelt them. They pulled their coats up above their heads and walked slowly, with their heads down. After a few tiring hours of getting nowhere, one of the teens screamed, "Look, over there to the left, there is a house!" Sure enough, out of nowhere, in the forest, a house could be seen and a light could be seen shinning through one of the windows.
The teens slowly walked out from the thick forest, through the mud, approaching the house with awe and wonderment.
They knocked on the door but no one answered, so they began to bang harder, hoping that some one would hear them and open the door, but to no avail. Then one teen tried the door handle. Surprise, it turned and opened the door. The door was not locked.
How very strange, they wondered. A house in the middle of a forest with a light on and the door unlocked, very strange indeed.
Slowly they entered. Unbelievable, the heating system was on; the room was warm. Now they could dry out from the storm.
But some one must be home. It can't be that a house would have a light on, the front door unlocked, the heating on and yet no one around. But a thorough search of the house found no evidence of anyone living there.
The refrigerator was full of food; the cupboards were packed with cans. The gas stove worked. But there was no sign of any one living there. The beds had sheets and blankets but there were no clothing in the closets. Although the house was stocked with provisions there was no evidence of a person or persons actually living in the house.
Then the teens decided to 'camp' over in the house. Several teens began claiming rights to the beds or sofas that it should be their personal area. Indeed several teens took the beds and others claimed rights to sleep on the sofa. Then fighting broke out over the right of some one to make such a claim to a bed or sofa, "who gives you the right to claim the bed as your own?"
"Yeah, try an' take it from me and you'll see," was the response.
So each teen claimed out their spot. Some had beds, some had a sofa or a arm-chair, and the rest had to bed down on the floor with out even a blanket.
Then it happen!
One teen got out of bed to use the washroom and when he came back he found some one else in 'his' bed. "Get out," he screamed, "that's my bed."
"Sorry guy, possession is nine tenths of the law and I got possession. So take my spot on the floor."
Soon the two were embroiled in a fist fight and the others came to separate them. But each teen took a side. There were those for the squatters and those against them. In the end the strong prevailed over the weak and a 'law' was passed to insure that no one take the 'law' into their own hands.
Suddenly, the lights went off and the darkness took all by surprise. "Hey, what happened? Who ever turned out the lights, please turn them back on." But there was no answer, there was no electricity, there was no heat. The teens struggle to find a match but none were available.
Then the front door swung open and a man with a flash light appeared. "Don't move," the man said, "I am the sheriff of this county and you all have broken into my house. Did you kids just think that this house existed for your pleasures and there was no owner?"
* * *
Continuation of this story?
The story is a parable. We humans have come into this world and we look around. The world is almost complete. We have animals for food and work and trees for fruit and grain and vegetables growing, and we, people, have progressed and created machines to help us do our work. We never think where did all of this come from? We just begin to fight over it so that we can use it for our own goals.
We rarely think that there must be a Creator who made this world complete and intact with all that we need in it. Rather we believe that we own what we buy and that we are the legal owners since we bought it with money - or took it with force.
But we should know that the world and all that is in it is the property of G-d. He created it and He gives it to whom he believes is worthy of it. When he decides to transfer the ownership, He takes His property from this one and gives it to that one.
If we just would contemplate on this for a time we will find our lives more enriched.
from the May 2013 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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