This week, I have written a couple of parables--using symbolism and story to facilitate a deeper reflection and exploration of life. The beauty of parables is their flexibility in meeting each person at their level of being.
I hope you will find these stories interesting.
The Parable of the Banquet
Once there was a child who sat at a banquet table laden with delicious food. Two attendants were assigned to the room to serve the food. Each day, the child sat down at the table and waited for the attendants to fulfill their duties. However, due to various distractions, the attendants seldom brought the child enough to eat, and so the child went to bed each night hungry. In fact, the child came to notice that the attendants were half-starved themselves, not knowing how to reach the food or how to serve it; and often, when they were able to get to some food, they fed themselves first, putting only leftover crumbs on the child’s plate.
Day after day and week after week, this pattern continued. The child tried everything to get the attendants to bring more food. But nothing changed.
In that country, attendants have always served the children’s meals. Some children had good attendants, who fed the children properly. However, there were others who did not have good attendants. The children were either well fed or thin, depending on how their attendants fulfilled their roles.
Then, one day, the child reached for the food on the table and ate it. And that was the beginning of how hunger ended in that country.
The Parable of the Treasure
Once there was a little child who set off down the road, with a little pouch tied at the end of a stick slung over one shoulder. He was going out, to explore the world. In his pouch was a great treasure he valued. Because this treasure meant so much to him, he went wherever the treasure directed him and did whatever it required him to do. And often, along his journey, he would pause to admire his treasure, thinking to himself, “Some day...”
The road was a long and winding one, sometimes going uphill and sometimes blocked by obstacles. The child met the challenges along the way, inspired by his treasure, growing stronger and wiser with each passing year.
The child grew and became an adult. The adult grew and became an old man. One day, the old man paused by the side of the road, to open his pouch, to once again admire the treasure that he had carried over his shoulder all his life. Out of the pouch, ragged with wear, he pulled a picture of himself as a child, dressed as a king on a stage, surrounded by admiring subjects. He was about to say, for the hundredth time, “Someday…” when he paused. Looking down at his dusty feet that had walked a thousand miles and worn hands that had created a thousand wonders, he said softly to himself, “I am enough.” And with that, he left his pouch behind and continued on his way.