The Shepherd of the North
There was an old & wise shepherd who lived in the north of China.
One day, the best of his few horses ran away. His neighbors came by and tried to console him. He replied, “Who knows this might be a blessing?”
About a month later, his horse came back with a flock of wilder horses. His friends came by and exclaimed, “Wow, you are so blessed to have this happen out of nowhere to make you a rich man!”
The wise man said, “Maybe, who knows?”
Years later, he had a son, who enjoyed riding horses as he grew up. One day, as he mounted a fine horse, the stallion took off running and with a quick burst bucked the young man wildly off him. He flew through the air and crashed to the ground badly breaking his leg.
Now the old man needed his son’s help shepherding and this was certainly a dramatic and unexpected setback. How would they get the work done needed to tend their sheep and other affairs without the young man’s help?
The wise man’s friends again came by, but this time they said, “You were right! It wasn’t a blessing that you found all those horses, it was a curse! What will you now do without the help of your son?”
The wise man said, “We will see, who knows, maybe it’s a blessing that he broke his leg?”
Only a few weeks later, the army came through and was conscripting every young man to service. All the young men of the village had to go with them. There was great sadness and weeping amongst the villagers because everyone knew that it was a bloody and senseless war being put on by the rich and powerful. Few young men would survive. And yet, because the old man’s son had a broken leg, the army had no use for him. They left him behind with the old man where he was no in danger of losing his life as so many of the village’s other young men surely would!
Again, the old man’s friends came by and said, “You were right, it was a great blessing that your son broke his leg!”
Again the wise old man said, “Maybe, let’s wait and see!”
This is an ancient parable out of China that probably pre-dates the Kingdom of God’s advancement into that land (as goes on in amazing ways today). But it’s an amazing parable that has often come to mind when sharing with others that teaches an important lesson. On Wednesday, we’ll share a few thoughts on how this relates to your life and mine as a believer in this broken world. You can find that post here.
You can watch the most recent series of economic update videos at: 1) European Debt Crises, 2) European Debt Crises 2, 3) MF Global, 4) Gold & Silver Pt 1, 5) Gold & Silver Pt 2, 6) Gold & Silver Pt 3, 7) World Economic Update., 8) World Economic Update 2, 9) The Chinese Economy, 10) Inflation or Deflation Concerns?, 11) Inflation Concerns Pt 2, 12) US Economic Update, & 13) US Economic Update 2.