Today I went to work and when I looked for the keys "in the drawer" in Matt's office, they were not there. I looked in every drawer, multiple times, before sitting down in his chair and staring about hopelessly. I picked up a sheet of paper to snoop a little, and all the keys were under it! On top of the desk, under a piece of paper. That hardly qualifies as the "in the drawer" that the note at the desk had informed me of. When I closed the desk this afternoon I put them all..you guessed it..in the drawer. Really.
As I was reading some folk tales from different parts of Asia today, I was reminded of this story (which I am SO going to use in a sermon someday) which I heard for the first time two years ago from Brian...
The Sixteenth Camel
Once, long ago in (insert desert/middle-east/ish country here), there lived a man with four sons. When he died, he left some land and 15 camels. According to the local law and tradition, the inheritance was divided among all the sons, with the oldest receiving half the property, the next half of that, the next half of that, and so on. So, when the mourning period had ended, the sons gathered to divide the property. Dividing the land was easy enough, and the young men moved on to the 15 camels. The first son claimed his half: 7-1/2 camels. The second claimed his: 3-3/4 camels. The third claimed his: 1-7/8 camels The fourth was left with 15/16 of a camel.
Now, as the boys fetched an axe, a neighbour noticed that this was not working out well, particularly for the camels. He donated one of his own camels to solve the problem. Now, with 16 camels, the eldest son took 8 camels, the second 4, the third 2, and the youngest 1. Much to their surprise, there was one camel left over, which they returned to the neighbour.
When I remember the reason Brian was telling this story, I'll let you know. I just like it. :-)