Here’s a story that appeared in my inbox. It’s obviously from the last century, when America was rural. (It still was when I was a kid and chopped and picked cotton by hand.) How would you answer it?
The story is told of five men sitting around a potbellied stove, arguing about which is the “right” religion– which offers the great assurance of salvation. It was a fruitless discission because no one could agree.
Finally they turned to a wise old fellow who had been sitting in the corner, listening.
“Gentlemen,” he said, “when the cotton is picked, there are several ways to get it to the gin. We can take the northern route– it’s longer but the road is better. Or we can take the southern route, which is shorter but filled with chuckholes. Or we can go over the nountain, even though it’s more perilous. When we reach the gin, though, the man doesn’t ask which way we came.” He simple asks, “Brother, how good is your cotton?”