Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Story: The man at the gate...

The brown dirty poles were spanned by rusty wire. Set in the fence was an old gate which barely seemed to hang on its hinges. Sitting on a round, wooden, weather beaten stool was a man. The man was confident and content. The dusty road that passed through the gate in the fence seemed to disappear over the horizon at the top of a hill not so far away.
A young man approached the older gatekeeper and said, "I would like to pass please. I am in a hurry to see what is over the hill and all that is waiting for me there."
The older man asked, "Are you ready?" "Yes, of course! I am on fire!" replied the enthusiastic younger man. "You're not ready." "What!?" "Come back when you're ready."
The young man turned away frustrated and whispered under his breath, "How difficult can it be? Anyway all I want is to see what is on the other side."
A short while later the young man reappeared at the gate. More confident this time. He sauntered up to the man at the gate and stated boldly, "I am ready to see what is on the other side of the hill!"
"You're not ready." "Why? I have thought and meditated and imagined what is waiting for me there. I have prepared myself. I am ready!" "Come back when you're ready."
"I don't understand." The young man mouthed as he walked away, shoulders drooped.
Some time later the young man approached the man at the gate. He stopped and leaned on top of the gate. He looked down at the older man, whose face showed the slightest hint of a smile. The young man looked back to the hill and said, "It is not what is on the other side of the hill that is important, it is the hill itself!"
The older man stood up slowly and stretched. He unhitched the gate’s clasp and said to the young man, "You may pass." "Thank you." Responded the young man with a sigh of relief and he started up the hill.
The hill was exceptionally steep, and it was hot and dusty. There were rocks and stones en route. The journey up seemed to drag on forever! The young man often turned to look back at the man sitting at the gate. He licked his parched lips and tried to swallow, he was tempted to turn back. In fact he was often tempted to turn back, but his pride would not let him!
After a while of continual upward climbing, the young man decided to change his attitude towards the hill. He attempted to walk upright, uncomplaining and with gratitude for being allowed to follow the path. As he straightened his aching spine and pushed back his shoulders, he was amazed that he could almost see over the summit. He started running and with a final burst of energy, he leaped over the rise.
The young man grew in stature and wisdom. He was blessed. He found favour and an abundance of fulfillment through this achievement. The young man never forgot the older man. One day he decided to go and visit him. He walked casually down the dusty road. To his horror the man was no longer there, but on the barbed wire fence was pinned a note. The young man reached over and read what the older man had written:
"You have contemplated the hill, you have endured and persevered. You have seen and experienced what is on the other side of the hill. I have fulfilled my purpose here. Please take your seat..."
As the man sat down, he saw a young man walking up the road toward the gate. There was just a hint of a smile as he watched the brash over-confident strides. He knew what was to follow, after all he was now...
...the man at the gate.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home