How the End of the Line Can Become a Lifeline
Sometimes life is rough. Sometimes we don’t know where to turn or how to move from where we are. We are in the stuck place. Our circumstances seem bleak, as if what is happening now will go on and on, and on, with no relief and no end in sight. At times like these, what can we do? Where do we turn and how do we reach for higher ground?
There is a wonderful Brazilian folk story called “The Little Cow” in a book called The Walk. A wise master is mentor to an apprentice. The master instructs the apprentice to borrow food from a poor family living nearby. They were a family of seven children, living a hardscrabble existence with only one cow to provide a little milk and cheese. Though they had little, they gave the apprentice a small portion. Next, the master asked the apprentice to return to the family once more, to take their cow, lead it away, and send it over a cliff.
The reluctant apprentice did as he was asked but felt guilty for years. Much later the former apprentice returned to see what had become of the family. New buildings dotted the landscape. He approached the finely carved door of a prosperous estate to find out what had become of the family. Knocking, he inquired. The door opened and there stood the owner.
The teacher asked what had happened to the little family. The landowner replied, “We’ve lived here for generations.” When the apprentice explained that he was looking for the poor family with seven children, the man laughed. “God works in mysterious ways. We had a little cow that provided us with the barest essentials until one day he was gone. We knew we were doomed so we did everything we could and surprisingly, we thrived. We discovered we had gifts far greater than we ever knew. We never would have found them as long as we continued our paltry existence that our little cow provided.”
We humans are creatures of habit, clinging to the familiar, never realizing the great good that lies ahead, just beyond our horizon. As life moves you on, know that there is a future, brighter than you can see.