Episode 19 - How To Slay Your Problems
The reason we have problems is because we label certain situations as "problems" in our mind. What if we didn't? Listen in as I teach you to reframe your perception of problems. You'll find out what happened when I had a BIG problem at work, what the theme song of my life is, and I'll even do a little storytelling, too!
The Parable of the Heavy Pack
Once upon a time there was a young man who served a wise and kind Master. Although the young man worked hard in the house of his Master, he was given everything he needed to be comfortable, and he was very happy.
One day the Master called the young man to him and gave him an important errand. The young man was to deliver some items to a neighboring kingdom. The Master laid a pack on the young man’s back and began to fill it. As the pack became heavy, the young man asked, “Could I not have a donkey to carry this heavy load?”
The Master said no.
The young man was disheartened as his pack continued to grow heavier and heavier. “May I not have a companion to shoulder half the load, sir?” he cried.
The Master seemed to have kindness in his eyes, but he again said no. It seemed that the young man would have to shoulder this burden alone.
At length the young man was left by himself with his heavy pack, and he had no choice but to start out on the road to the neighboring kingdom. As he walked, his shoulders soon grew sore and his feet grew weary, and he began to wonder if he had misread his Master all these years, for this errand seemed nothing but cruel. Why could a donkey not be provided?! Certainly there was no good reason the young man could not have some help with this burden, and the unfairness of it all threatened to overwhelm his heart with bitterness.
As he plodded along, his back bent further and further under the weight of his pack. Soon he was so bent over that his vision narrowed to just his sandaled feet and the dirt road beneath them. His discouragement grew, and hot tears streamed down his cheeks. His back and shoulders burned with pain, and relief seemed many miles down the road. Surely he could not endure.
In his despair, the young man remembered some simple advice he had once heard, “It is better to look up.”
The young man could not do much in his circumstances, but he decided he could do this. With great effort, he craned his neck under his burden so that he could look up and at least enjoy the sun and clouds above him while he walked. But when his eyes lifted, he was greeted by a shocking sight. The road he was plodding down had led him into a wilderness area, and instead of the beautiful clouds and sunshine he was expecting, he found he was surrounded by black and barren trees. Not a single leaf graced the trees. Instead, they were full of dead branches that stuck out in sharp points above his hunched back. Hideous, demonic birds were flying around, screeching, and when they saw the young man’s eyes they flew straight for them, determined, it seemed, to peck them right out of his head.
The young man gasped and quickly turned his head back down to the dirt. He wondered how he had been walking through this terrible place without fear, when he realized… it was his pack. That heavy, heavy pack that had seemed such a burden to him was actually keeping him safe. By keeping his back bent low under the weight, the young man had avoided all the sharp branches and pointy beaks of this dangerous area.
With sudden insight, he realized that his Master was, indeed, kind and wise. Had he given the young man the donkey he begged for, he would have walked this road with his back upright, and would likely have lost an eye on this journey, or worse. The young man realized with quiet awe that His Master knew this road, and loved him enough to keep him safe.
The young man continued his walk, but now his step was lighter, for he carried in his heart a deep gratitude for the pack on his back that he had once considered a burden.