"If we all threw our problems in a pile
and saw everyone else's,
we'd grab ours back."
Earlier today, my friend Jodie posted the above "thought for the day" on facebook, along with the comment: "I love this. A friend posted this and thought it was great and probably true. Feel free to repost and share with others."
Jodie's post reminded me of the following parable that I encountered a few years back in some newsletter or other. Unfortunately, I didn't save the original copy and don't recall any particular author's name attached to it, though I'm guessing it was probably a contemporary writer who specializes in inspirational narratives along these lines.
I have to say that the ironic tone makes me think of the surprising Parables of Franz Kafka, and the instructive anecdotes embedded in The Trial, or the frustrated efforts of "K" to understand the mysteries of The Castle.
If you have come across this story already, please forgive repetition. If you can match me up with an author or title, even better! Thanks!
Here is a paraphrase of what I can remember:
There was a man who was getting so tired of carrying his cross that he decided to go to God and ask for something lighter. To his amazement, God readily agreed and told him to carry his cross over to the warehouse and exchange it for whatever he saw that he would rather have.
The man entered a huge storeroom full of crosses of every description. He leaned his own against the wall and wandered around looking at all the large, heavy, roughly constructed crosses that appeared not a bit better than the one he had just put down. After circling the room a few times, he at last spied a beautiful jewel encrusted cross, so exquisite that he could hardly believe his eyes.
Nestled among the many huge, unseemly crosses, this one was so small and finely made that the man felt sure he could wear it on a golden chain around his neck. He made his choice and carried the precious artifact back to God, asking if he could have it.
"Are you sure you want to take that one?" asked God, registering some surprise.
"Absolutely!" the man replied, "Why wouldn't I?"
"Well," answered God, "that's the one you just put down."
take up your cross and follow me!
This is a giant block of whatever is most difficult for you to carry & trust me on this, you'll carry it more times than you can count until you decide that's exactly what you want to do most & then it won't weigh a thing anymore.