There’s an ancient fable about a wise king ruled over people who had become lazy, expecting other people to do the work required in the society. So the king decided to teach his subjects a lesson.
The king placed a large boulder on a narrow part of the most traveled road. As people from all occupations traveled along the road and were annoyed by the boulder. Though it was a struggle, everyone moved around the boulder. The people freely complained about the boulder, but no one took the initiative to see that it was removed.
Finally, the king called his subjects together at the site of the boulder. He rolled up his sleeves, and with great difficulty, personally moved the boulder off the roadway.
Underneath the boulder, there was a pouch which contained several pieces of gold. With the gold there was a note which read: “This gold belongs to the person who moved the stone.”
The “moral of the story” is that there’s a reward for removing obstacles on the roadway of life. Walking by and ignoring the obstacles is the easy way out, but that isn’t a service to the world.
Part of our calling as Christians is to help move obstacles out of the road of life. Even if we ourselves can get by the obstacles, our calling is to serve others by moving obstacles.
Christians are called to be at the forefront of taking the initiative to make the traveling easier for all people. Christians are called to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe those without proper clothing. Christians are called to listen to the pain of those in physical and emotional prisons.
Think about what Jesus did for us, giving his life on the cross, for our eternal salvation. How do we respond to this? We respond by serving others and doing good in the world.
What about the reward in the fable? Under each obstacle we help remove, there is something infinitely greater than gold. When we move a difficult obstacle to help others, God lavishly rewards us, not with silver or gold, but with divine love and holy peace, and a calling to continue to remove obstacles for others. We do so, in response to the cross and resurrection of Jesus.
Oh yes, and when the obstacles are too large for us, we Christians count on each other’s and God’s help!