One day while I was sitting beneath a tree at the bass of a large hill, something
caught my eye. A young girl was traveling with a man I assumed was her father.
As they hiked the steep path together, the man stooped down, picked up a rock,
and put it in her empty backpack. He repeated this every few feet. Despite this,
the girl pressed on, but before reaching the top, she fell from the weight of
That load is too heavy for such a small child! I thought angrily.
Unable to watch any longer, I raced to her defense. When I reached the top, I
saw that she was resting in her father's arms. He had picked her up and carried
her the rest of the way.
After catching my breath, I grilled the man. ?What kind of father are you?? I
demanded. ?Why would you purposely make your daughter stumble by increasing her
He pointed to a distant summit. Beyond many larger hills and deep valleys stood
a beautiful castle. He explained: ?My daughter is a princess and that is her
home. There are challenging roads ahead of her that you cannot see from the foot
of the hill. She must be strengthened for the journey ahead. There will come
a time when I will remove the stones she is carrying one by one. In the meantime,
I will walk beside her, and she will learn to lean on me.?
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