That’s Not the End of the Rainbow

If you didn’t make it through my first post in this series, I don’t blame you. What was supposed to be a 300-word post turned into 2000. Long story short, I have an assignment to publish a blog a week for the next 14 weeks based on the readings in my Introduction to Entrepreneurship class at BYU-Idaho. Those assignments are being published on my blog.

My main insights this week came in the form of a story:

There was a king who liked to work, and wanted his people to learn the same. One night he placed a large rock directly in the middle of the road in front of his estate, and hid in the hedge to see what happened. As the day progressed, each person who encountered the rock cursed at it, complained about it, or simply walked around it. As the day wore on I imagine a path even became visible going around the rock. At the end of a long hard day, the miller’s daughter spotted the rock. Wishing to prevent the inattentive passer-by from stumbling she toiled to remove the stone from the path. After succeeding, she spotted a large sum of money in the road where the stone had been. You see, the king had set a reward for whomever had the work ethic to remove the stone from the path.

This story intrigues me. My first thought is to replicate this story in a way to teach my employees and children a good lesson about hard work. Manipulative aspects aside, that is a good lesson to teach. However, the aspect that is most interesting to me in this story is that of the miller’s daughter’s intentions. She was not worried about the stone in her path, she was alert and cognizant enough to realize the stone was there and to walk around it. However, her concern was for those coming after her, as darkness fell. She wanted to leave the world a better place for those coming behind her.

This is a very noble motive, and one that is not often rewarded externally. I am at a crossroads in several regards right now. Specifically in our congregation there are several stones that need to be moved. The problem comes however, is it even possible for them to be moved without significant effort and time commitment. I identify closely with the farmer or soldier in the full recounting of the king’s story, the men who go around the rock towards their other duties.

This whole semester has been focussed on identifying our purpose and mission in life. While this story sets the daughter apart as a hard worker, there is value in the work the farmer and soldier were focussed on as well. They were not lazy, merely focussed on the task at hand. If we are to focus on every stone that comes across our path, we might never reach the end of it. If we stop to clear none of the rocks however, we might find that the path wasn’t worth traveling to begin with. It is a great balance that we each must find.

Comments are closed.