The Stones of the Path

Once a pilgrim arrived in a lost village in a valley surrounded by high mountains. As he walked along the slope of a hill, he observed some stones on his way and realized, in a way that was difficult to explain, that he had to take each of those stones and carry them to the top of the hill. And so it was. Every day he would look for stones, many of them covered by vegetation, and take them to the top of that hill where he would gather them in one place. It was a painful task, hard by fatigue, but at no time did he doubt what Life asked of him, giving himself entirely to that task.

The people of the village were curious about him: "What was that man doing there, and why was he carrying those stones up the hill?" Some tried to convince him to leave the stones and go and work for them, doing something more productive, so they thought. Others wanted to get him to stop that task for his health. Some others tried to expel him from the village because they thought he was crazy and dangerous. Everyone had an opinion, a judgment, something to say about what he was doing. Until he got tired and started to push people away by throwing small stones at them so that they would leave him alone. He only wanted to accomplish his task without having to bear with others' opinions, all of them limited by the narrow view of those who only know of the world what the world allows them to know. 

One day a spiritualist approached him affectionately and sat down beside him while he rested. It was his mission to save him and put him back on the path of his destiny. 

- You are wasting your gifts on these stones, my brother. You could be doing things of greater use to people and God. Your Soul has a purpose, and you are not fulfilling it by straying from your path. Do not allow your incarnation to be lost in the uselessness of the task you are undertaking. 

The pilgrim said nothing, standing up and going to get the next stone. Even the spiritualist could not perceive the sacredness of that moment, the flow that Life manifested through him, even if he, himself, our pilgrim, knew nothing of the reasons behind such a manifestation. 

And time passed in the fatigue that gradually began to make him doubt what he was doing. Were the people right? Was he mistaken? Was it all a waste of time? His inner desert plagued him, and his mind's judgments were even sharper than those of the villagers. But despite everything, he persisted. Even if his mind showed him more comfortable and pleasurable ways, our pilgrim remained firm in his commitment to the task that he, himself, did not understand. And one more stone after the other was being tidied up on the top of the hill which now stood several meters high. 

The villagers considered him a hopeless case and stopped visiting him. But someone stayed. A young woman appeared every day, looking at him from a distance in deep respect without trying to demote him from his task. She did not confront him with the rights and wrongs of the world, fully respecting the sacredness of what was happening there. And although she also could not understand the reasons behind such a task, she accepted it without judgment, remaining present and available whenever he needed her. And so it was. When he fell to the ground tired of the effort, she would approach him with a vessel of water and quench his thirst. When he succumbed to fatigue or was injured, she was there to clean his wounds. She never questioned him about the reasons that led him to do what he did, nor did she judge him by his choices; she only kept her presence there to serve him in what he needed. 

And one day, there were no more stones, and that cycle ended by itself. The task was finished, and the pilgrim left for the next one without trying to understand the reasons behind the one that ended. 

Years later, when he was already on a new task, he realized that the lightness with which he carried out this task had only been possible because his muscles were now robust, allowing him to work without effort. And the robustness of those muscles he had achieved by carrying up every stone he found in that valley. And there was one of the reasons for the previous task, but not the only one… 

Every day the young woman went to the pile of stones that the pilgrim had created and stayed there in contemplation. But on one of those days, something different happened. When she arrived, another pilgrim was taking the pile apart to build a temple with those stones. Stones that he would not have seen if they had been scattered through the vegetation far from his sight. And the young woman smiled, and her heart was filled with joy for the revelation, rolling up her sleeves and joining that pilgrim in the building of the temple. And by their commitment and dedication, the whole village joined them, and on top of that hill, the most brightened temple was built. 

The pilgrim of the stones never knew the destiny given to them, but out of their self-giving, dedication, and persistence, and despite the ignorance of men on understanding it, God's work was accomplished. 

Deep Peace,
Pedro Elias

From the book Spiritual Reflections for a New World


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