Friday, January 3, 2014

Part 2: Pursuit of Happiness

Day 3:

Parable of the King's Emerald

Young Rupert stood by the side of the road watching an unusual number of people hurry past. At length he recognized a friend. "Where are all of you going in such a hurry?" he asked.

The friend paused... "the King has lost his royal emerald! ... Everyone is searching, for the King has offered a reward to the one who finds it. Come, we must hurry."

"But I cannot go without asking Grandmother," faltered Rupert.

"Then I cannot wait. I want to find the emerald," replied his friend.

Rupert hurried back to the cabin at the edge of the woods to seek his grandmother's permission, but his grandmother shook her head. "What would the sheep do?" she asked. "Already they are restless in the pen, waiting to be taken to the pasture, and please do not forget to take them to water when the sun shines high in the heavens."

Sorrowfully, Rupert took the sheep to the pasture, and at noon he led them to the brook in the woods. There he sat on a large stone by the stream. "If I could only have had a chance to look for the King's emerald!" he thought. Turning his head to gaze down at the sandy bottom of the brook, suddenly he stared into the water. What was it? It could not be! He leaped in the water...

"The King's emerald!" he shouted.

With shining eyes Rupert ran to his grandmother's hut to tell her of his great find. "Bless you, my boy," she said, "but you never would have found it if you had not been doing your duty, herding the sheep."

I love this parable! Too often we are searching for happiness outside of ourselves. We truly find happiness when we put first things first and when we "tend the sheep." Rupert didn't find the King's emerald by running around looking for it like all the others were doing. He found the emerald by taking care of the sheep and being where he was supposed to be. As we focus our time and attention on loving those around us (whether or not they deserve it;) and learning and growing, we will discover that happiness has been inside us the whole time!

Take a few minutes and think about some of the things that make you happy right now!

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