Do you remember those word problems that you had to do when you studied math in school. You know the ones about if one train left Chicago going twenty miles an hour, and another left going 12 miles an hour, and so on. Well here’s a real life word problem.
A number of years ago a farmer Missouri died leaving his 17 prized mules to his three sons. The will said that the oldest boy was to get one-half the mules, the second oldest one-third, and the youngest one-ninth. The three sons, recognizing the difficulty of dividing 17 mules into fractions, began to argue.
When their uncle heard about the argument, rode his mule over to settle the matter. He added his mule to the 17, making 18. The oldest therefore got one-half, or nine, the second oldest got one-third, or six, and the youngest son got one-ninth, or two. Adding up 9, 6 and 2 equals 17. The uncle, having settled the argument, took his mule and rode home.
This reminds me of Jesus instructions to his followers to be “as wise as serpents and as gentle as a dove”.