There once was a man who raised mice. He was a very special man, because he was very powerful and very wise. He knew all about the past, and he could even see five minutes into the future. What he could not do, was force the mice he had raised to respect and honor him. So, he decided to do an experiment.
He started by building a big table. It was very long and wide, and taller than the clouds, so that it was impossible to clearly see what was beyond the edges of the table. He placed a large cage with a remote controlled door at one end of the table then spread delicious cheese all over the table. As he gathered his mice and put them all in the cage at one end of the table, he already knew the result of the experiment. In five minutes, it would all be over, and he knew how it would end.
With the mice all in the cage, he moved to the other, far end of the table and sat in a chair beneath it. His lap was spread wide under the edge of the table, and was big enough to hold the world. As he sat there looking at his mice in the cage at the other end of the table, he grabbed the remote control for the cage door and thought about pushing the button. He knew what would happen if he did. Was it worth it? He knew it was, so he pushed the button.
Immediately, the mice ran out of the cage and began to go in every direction. He called them to himself. “Come here and I will take you home with me for a delicious dinner with all kinds of wonderful foods.” Some of the mice heard the man and came running toward him, falling off the table into his big soft lap. Others wandered around the table, fighting over the cheese and becoming so distracted they eventually fell off the side of the table, tumbling to their death far below.
In five minutes, the experiment was over. The man looked down in his lap at all the happy mice who had chosen to come to him. They were all looking up at him with great respect. “I knew all of you would come to me.” he said. “I knew it even before I pushed the button.” Then he gathered them up and carried them into his home where they feasted on unimaginable delights.
Because he knew what would happen before he pushed the button, some would say he caused some mice to die and some to live and share in his blessings. Others would say, the mice could make their own choice and so it was their decision to come to him. Both would be right. And the amazing thing is, that knowing what would happen, he decided to push the button.