Two brothers embraced faith together at an early age. One of the brothers took his commitment very seriously and wrestled diligently with the Scriptures. When he became a man he gave up all of his worldly possessions and went to live in the poorest and most dangerous area of the city. Many of his friends deserted him, and, because of his uncompromising dedication to the oppressed, he lost the one woman he truly loved, forsaking the possibility of marriage for the sake of his work.
the pain of this separation haunted him all his days. And because of the conditions in which he lived, he was frequently ill. When he died, no one was present, and only a handful of people showed up for his funeral.
In contrast, the other brother never took his faith seriously at all. As a man he became very settled, satisfied, and influential. He married the woman he loved, had many children, and lived in a beautiful home. As his satisfaction grew, his thoughts of God dissolved to nothing. He gave little to charity, unless it was prudent to do so for the sake of his reputation, and he paid little heed to those who suffered around him. After a long, happy, and successful life, he died in the arms of his loving wife with his children surrounding him.
In heaven God called the two brothers before him, embraced them both warmly, and to each gave an equal share of the kingdom.
As one might expect, the brother who had been faithful all his years was surprised-he had given up everything to live what turned out to be a torturous life of hardship.
However, his surprise was a joyous one. He turned to his brother, smiled deeply, and said, “Today my joy is finally complete, for we are together again. Come, let us break bread together.” In response, his brother said nothing, but began to weep over the wasted life that he had led.