The Life Is So Short

太陽のほほえみイメージ

I recently heard a good story about an American who studied in Europe. He first went to Germany, where there was a farm near his school. He became friendly with the farmer. When he was free, he would help cultivate the crops. It was rather difficult work. At the end of the day, while returning to the farmhouse, the farmer would often say, "Life is so short, we must make the best use we can of each moment."

After finishing studies in Germany, the student spent some time in Spain. It was immediately obvious to him that Spanish farmers had an entirely different attitude toward work than the farmer he had known in Germany.

Spanish farmers seemed much more relaxed. They talked and joked a great deal, pausing occasionally in their work to watch a butterfly flying around, and frequently stopped for a drink of water and a chat. The student decided to ask a farmer why they took such a nonchalant attitude toward their work. The farmer answered, "Life is so short, we must make the best use we can of each moment."

The German farmer and the Spanish farmer quoted the same words but they interpreted the words very differently. The German emphasized work while the Spaniard chose the enjoyment of life.

Both, of course, are important. During the short span of our lives, we each have an obligation to contribute to the welfare of the world through our work. But God intended that we find happiness and enjoyment in doing so.