Archive for the ‘Stories and Parables’ Category

The Journey

June 13, 2012

This is another little story I wrote after reading Kierkegaard. Nothing profound, really, just a simple parable about doing it in our own strength.




Ivinghoe Beacon (near where I live). Wikipedia

Ivinghoe Beacon (near where I live). Wikipedia

There were once two men who had to make a journey to a far city. No-one knew how far away the city was, only that it was very far away indeed and that a particular road ran in the right direction. One of the men was strong and prepared for the journey by working out every day, building his stamina. A real athlete. The other knew he would never be as good as the first and doubted that he could survive the journey. He became very sad and gave up hope.

When the day came for them to begin their journey the athlete stood proud and eager, looking at the road that stretched off ahead of them. The other man, however, saw the long road and, knowing that what he could see was only the first little bit, despaired. When the athlete set off, he simply sighed and sat down at the side of the road.


After a while the athlete looked back and saw how far he had come and the poor man still sitting back at the start. How his heart swelled, how he rejoiced in his discipline and training. “Look,” he said to himself, “how far ahead I am in this journey! I am glad I am not like that poor out-of-shape fellow back there!”

Meanwhile the other man stayed where he was, knowing it was hopeless, that he could never make the journey, regretting that he would never see the great city.

Eventually the athlete had gone so far that he could no longer even see the other man or the town he had started in. He didn’t mind being alone, for he knew that few men could keep up with him, and the city couldn’t be that much further, surely.


And then, as the poor man sat looking at the dirt at his feet, quietly crying for his loss, he heard a noise. Looking up he saw that a car had stopped just in front of him. The driver leaned over and opened the window.

“What is wrong?” He asked.

“I am supposed to be going to the great city, but I know that there is no way that I can make it. I am not strong enough.”

“Well then, hop in! For I am on my way there myself and there is plenty of room. Plus, I’d love the company.”

With what joy did that poor man get into that car! Off they went, the miles slipping by as they talked.


After just a short while they came upon the athlete, still walking although he was looking a bit tired.

“Pull over,” said the poor man, “for he is also going to the great city.”

The driver did so, but no matter how much they encouraged him to get in, or told him how very far there was still to go, the athlete refused to get in.

“I trained a long time and I am in better shape than any other man I ever met. I will make it on my own, thank you.”

So they drove on, leaving the athlete far behind. It was a very, very long journey but, finally, they arrived. Perhaps because he had so despaired of ever seeing it, but the poor man’s wonder at being in the great city almost broke his heart. He never stopped thanking his driver for his kindness.


As for the athlete, who can say? Perhaps he is still out there somewhere, still walking, still proud of the little distance he has come.


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