Saturday, September 01, 2007

Glad and Sad

  A young man was traveling in a far country. It was getting late in the day, and he knew that he needed to stop to rest. However, he was thirsty and needed to find water before he slept.

  He met a white haired old man sitting on a rock by the side of the road. The young man asked him if he knew of a place where he could find water to drink. The old man said that if the young man stayed on the path he would come to a small stream. However, it would be after dark before he would reach the stream. The old man told the traveler that he could safely drink there. The old man further said that if he would pick up a handful of pebbles from the stream bed, the young man would be both glad and sad. The young man thanked the old man and continued on his journey.

  Sure enough, even though it was quite dark, the young traveler found the stream. He took a drink. The young man thought it silly to pick up pebbles, but just for curiosity he picked up a handful and put them in his pocket. He then found a place to sleep a short distance away from the stream.

 When he woke up, the young man remembered the pebbles. He shoved his hand into his pocket and brought them out. As he looked at them in amazement, the young man simultaneously felt great sorrow and great happiness for there in his hand lay beautiful, sparkling jewels. Quickly he rushed back to the stream to get more. He frantically searched through many hands full of ordinary pebbles, but the opportunity was gone. As he looked at the beautiful jewels, the young traveler felt so sad that he did not pick up many more At the same time he was happy that he had at least picked up those that he had.

So it is with us. If we are wise, we will listen to and follow wise counsel. In life, we can't go back. We need to find joy in good choices and experience sorrow for opportunities lost.

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