Kristen Lamb blogs about the pitfalls in our writing careers when we try to please everyone. She references Aesop’s Fable: The Man, the Boy and the Donkey. The moral of the fable, below, is worth considering in every aspect of our life.
First, here’s the Aesop’s Fable Kristen referenced: A Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?”
So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”
So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”
Well, the Man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said:
“Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours and your hulking son?”
The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.
After reading Kirsten’s blog, then reading this fable again, I considered that we should apply this lesson to all areas of our lives–especially today, on a Sunday, to our spiritual life.
Over the years, I’ve seen different church’s teachings swing in liberal directions because of the sway of society. Prayer books tossed and rewritten. Liturgy changed. Reverence to God diminished.
The world has changed from how it was when I was a child. I’ve seen friends dump their entire belief system because they were told their thinking was “old-fashioned.” I once heard a grandmother say, “Well, I used to think that way, but now I go with the flow.” It made me sad to think a woman, so late in her life, would throw away what she’d believed for her entire life to “go with the flow.” I’m talking about moral teachings that society has maintained for….well….I guess since Jesus taught them to his disciples, or actually since Moses brought them down on tablets from Mount Sinai.
I was raised in a conservative home. By the time I left home for college, I knew right from wrong. That didn’t mean I always did the right thing (I was a typical college kid) but when I did wrong, I certainly knew it.
Then, something happened to me during my first semester at college. I had a shift in my thinking. My professors challenged my beliefs by teaching moral relativism and all sorts of other nonsense. I thought I was gaining an open mind. I wasn’t. I was losing myself and giving up all that I’d learned in Sunday School, all that my grandparents and parents taught me. I was losing my groundedness and my faith.
And my lesson in this post is the same as Aesop’s with an added bit of wisdom: When in doubt about anything in your career or life, don’t be like the father and his boy in Aesop’s Fable. Seek the wisdom of God. Don’t follow what society dictates. Don’t always listen to your peers. Follow Jesus’ teaching. That way, you’ll never be carrying a donkey.
Have a great week!