A Thanksgiving Parable
A Chinese man lived on the border of China and Mongolia. In that time, there were battles and wars between the two countries. This Chinese man had a beautiful mare. But one day, that mare jumped over the fence and went over the border into Mongolia. The Mongolians stole the horse. The Chinese man’s friends came to him to console him, “Oh what terrible news!” they said.” Why do you think it’s bad news?” the Chinese man asked. “Maybe it’s a good thing.”
After a couple of days, the mare came back to the man, together with a stallion. The friends came around again and said, “What great news!” “Why do you think it’s good news?” the man asked. “Maybe it’s bad news.”
Later, while the Chinese man’s son was riding the stallion in an attempt to tame him, he fell and broke his leg. The friends came once again and said, “Oh what terrible news!” Again, the Chinese man said, “Why do you think it’s bad news? Maybe it’s a good thing.”
After a week, another big war broke out between China and Mongolia. A Chinese general came into the town and took all the young men with him to fight in the war. And all those young men in the town died, except of course for the son of the philosophical Chinese gentleman—he couldn’t go to war because of his broken leg.
The Chinese man told his friends, “See? The things you thought were bad were actually good, and the things you thought were good were really bad.”
As this Chinese gentleman so wisely perceived, the determination of any drama is not necessarily concluded in each of its unfolding scenes.
Life’s fickle events certainly shape and mold us. But often we forget that we too do the shaping, not only of circumstances, but of our character and our destiny. So let this holiday season be a time for fruitful introspection and let us choose to stand together upon the solid rock of thanksgiving.
May your Thursday turkey be dressed with the spirit of optimism and faith and may your paeans of gratitude be met with the blessings of courage and confidence.