Most of us might have heard the story of ‘a donkey carrying hard and
soft loads’. It is a very interesting story that my children enjoyed
frequently. Though I don’t know anything about the origin of that story, I
always think of the deep meaning it conveys.
The Donkey Carrying Hard and Soft Loads
Once there was a farmer who had a donkey which he used to carry loads
of vegetables and other things to the market. He would carry things to
the market loaded on the donkey’s back. The donkey would always
grumble and weep whenever the load was hard and heavy on his back
and would jump in joy when it was soft and light.
One day his master placed on the donkey’s back a sac or load of salt. It
was very heavy and it was very hard to carry it. He grumbled and cursed
his master for his cruelty to place such a hard luggage on his back. He
cursed his own condition and his ill luck to carry out such a hard duty.
The donkey walked slowly cursing his master and his own fate to do this
On the way to the market there was a stream with only a little water
which had been easy to cross. After walking some distance, it began to
rain heavily and there was no place to rest. The master forced the
donkey walk fast.
When they reached the stream, there was more water in it and the salt
load was actually floating in water. Soon the donkey began to feel that
the heaviness of the load on his back was being reduced. The salt was
melting in the rain and the stream. It was a great relief and joy. The
donkey began to sing when the hard load became very soft.
Afer a few days, he had to carry a load to the market. This time it was
cotton. Even though the sac on the back looked very huge, the donkey
was very happy as the load on his back was very light and soft.
The walk to the market was a jolly dance since the donkey felt the load
extremely soft. But that day also it rained heavily and soon the cotton
load became too hard to be carried. Each and every step became a
Should I narrate the story further? I leave it to your imagination and
Hard and Soft Loads in Our Life
Just imagine that we are also carrying such loads in the journey of our
day to day life. What is our reaction to carry them? Do we do the same
grumbling and cursing when we feel our life hard and burdensome? Or
do we realize the will of God in our life and proceed? Have we ever
thought of the words of our Lord Jesus who is ready to share our hard
life and make it soft?
We make our lives harder with our worries. We hesitate to think of the
words of Jesus, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what
you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and, and the body more than clothing? Look at
the birds of the air...” (Matthew 6: 25-26)
Jesus Makes Our Hard Life Soft
God wants us to be cheerful and happy. For that only he sent His son to
this world. Jesus assures us all happiness. That is why he calls us to
him. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy
burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from
me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your
souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”.(Matthew 11: 28-30)
Yes, he can make every hard thing in our life soft.
Let us make our lives soft and joyful
Cardinal Suhard says about our surrendering to God, “ Joy is the
infallible sign of the presence of God,” If we leave everything to God’s
will and if God is with us, what can make our life ‘hard’? He shares our
‘hard’ life making it ‘soft’.
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