Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ONEROUS (03/02/17)
- TITLE: The Tale of Three Burdens
By Donna Powers
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The men were headed down the same road, so they talked with each other and became friends.
As they traveled, each felt increasingly weighed down by their burdens. Each had been given his burden personally by the King, so none felt as if he could stop carrying his burden.
One day, when the sun beat down unrelentingly, and the air was as dry as an unused sponge, the men began to feel more encumbered than usual.
“Oh, my King, our burdens are so heavy!” cried John. “If only we had help to bear them for just awhile.”
“You mustn't complain,” chided Joe. “Our burdens were chosen by the King, so carrying them is our destiny.”
“Surely the King knows the heaviness of our burdens,” responded Jim. “If we could have some relief, He would provide relief.”
John cried, “Oh, my King! Will You please help us with these burdens? Today they are just too heavy to bear.”
Joe advised Jim, “We must pay him no mind. The sun must've driven him mad. Let's go on.”
Jim hesitated. “I want to see what happens.”
“You're as deluded as he is,” grumbled Joe, as he struck out ahead.
As Jim looked on, John raised his burden above his head. Slowly, John's countenance changed. Although John's burden didn't appear to shrink, his steps seemed lighter and the tenseness dissolved from his shoulders.
“What happened?” Jim asked.
“I can't explain it,” replied John. “But although my burden isn't lightened, I feel as though I'm no longer carrying it alone. It's as if the King were right here with me.”
Jim didn't hesitate. He lifted his own burden high. Soon Jim felt a calming and strengthening presence. He no longer felt alone – as if he were in the presence of the King.
The men walked onward, and eventually came to a curve in the path. The road beyond looked dangerous and rocky – and the sky was darkening.
Jim despaired. “Perhaps Joe was right. Perhaps we were wrong to complain, and this is our punishment.”
“Not so,” argued John. “I truly believe the King was here with us, and He'll help us through this more difficult path.”
As if in response, they heard the voice of the King. “If you'll trust me, and bear your burdens down this difficult path, I will remain with you.”
They began walking down the darker path. As they walked, they drew closer together, and each again found their burdens lightened by the presence of the King.
After a considerable distance, they reached the darkest and roughest part of the path. Somehow, Jim discerned a strange shape on the ground.
“Look!” cried Jim, as he ventured closer.
“What is it?” asked John.
“It's Joe!” answered Jim. “He's hurt!” When John neared the tree, he heard Jim groaning. “We must help him,” said John.
“Yes, but how?” Jim asked.
John called out, “What should we do, my King? Joe is a subject of Your Kingdom, and he's our friend. Please show us how to help him.”
The sky became lighter, and they then noticed many wooden planks lying nearby, and a field of growing herbs. The King said, “If you'll open your burdens, you'll find you're able to help Joe.”
Inside John's burden, he found a mortar and pestle, as well as a flask of water. He also found strips of cloth. He realized he could grind the herbs, mix them with water, and make medicine to help Joe.
Inside Jim's burden, he found a hammer and nails, as well as rope. He realized he could use these to build a cart with the planks. Together, they lifted Joe onto the cart, and hefted Joe's burden so it was lying beside him.
As each man worked, he realized that although their burdens had seemed very difficult to bear, they had been chosen just for this day.
The King confirmed their conclusions as He told them, “You now know your destinies. John, you are a healer. Jim, you are a builder. Take Joe down to the end of this road. There you'll find a place where John can work as a healer, and where Jim can find a group of builders to join.”
And they smiled, as they pulled the cart toward God's next adventures.
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