Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Obstacles Along The Way

As I ran yesterday I noticed something we have probably all witnessed a hundred times. The traffic on the main road was slowing, almost to a standstill at some stages. It could be for many reasons. Sheer volume of traffic can often be the case. Or it can be caused by those who are trying to jump the queue and forcing their way back into the traffic further on. Selfish actions may on some occasions help one at the cost of the many. It was Katherine who earlier drew my attention to those whose lives as so important that even passing a car or two makes them feel so much better.

As I approached the bottleneck I could see the cause of the problem. On the roadway was something that had fallen from the back of a lorry. Two lanes of traffic had to push together into one lane to avoid the hazard. This in turn slowed down those behind. Nerves were getting frayed, horns were being hit. Chaos abounded.

Now here is the really interesting thing. I was able to walk out into the road and lift the obstacle to the side with very little effort. Of course my run was not nearly as important as there getting to their place of work, or their meetings.

Did anybody take a second to thank me? I will leave you to work out the very difficult answer to that question. It would have taken any one of the drivers two minutes to put on hazard lights, get out of the car and do as I had done. Far to simple I suppose.

This reminded me of the story of the King and the boulder.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

That day the peasant learned a lesson that some of us never seem to learn.

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

I can think of so many times in my life when I thought that things could never be worse than they were. From the difficulties lessons were learned and experiences gained. Some small; some momentous, but each obstacle a point of learning.

I will say a bit more about this on my other blog. I Think It is Almost There


  1. I like this story very much! Your pencil piece is looking great!

  2. Good Morning Ralph, your pencil drawing is perfect! About the bolder, my how times have changed, today there could be an IED (Improvised explosive Device) under it!

  3. Has there ever been a life without obstacles? I don't think so We all have had a share. and climb over it. go around it somehow manage to get past it... And we're still here... every one of us...