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We Saw Your Smoke Signal

The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uninhabited island. He cried out to God to save him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a rough hut and put his few possessions in it. But then one day, after hunting for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; he was stung with grief.

Early the next day, though, a ship drew near the island and rescued him.

“How did you know I was here?” he asked the crew.

“We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

Though it may not seem so now, your present difficulty may be instrumental to your future happiness.

John Yates, Falls Church, Virginia, quoted in Leadership, Winter Quarter, 1992, p. 57

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