In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.

Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road.

After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand.

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

The author of this parable is unknown.

Questions To Ponder

1. In this parable, the King purposely set up a test. Perhaps he was hoping that whomever would move the boulder, and found the purse, would tell others what would happen, thus encouraging them to take action when they witnessed something that was off. Or maybe he wanted to teach a specific person, one of the merchants a lesson, but the person missed the lesson because they walked around the rock. What do you think his motive was for this?

2. The story makes a point to mention the merchants and courtiers who walked around the rock, and complained about the king. Are you guilty of ‘walking around’ obstacles and blaming others for them?

3. Surely the peasant could have behaved like the merchants and courtiers, and just walked around the boulder, but he didn’t. He decided to move the boulder. What do you think prompted this response from him?

4. If the purse with the gold coins had not been under the boulder, there might not have been much of a reward for the peasant. In fact, it seems his actions was more for the benefit of others who came across that path, than for him. When he opened the way, he made it possible for carriages and horses to get through. What action can you take to remove an obstacle for others? How can you make the lives of your co-workers, friends, family members or complete strangers better?

5. What obstacles have you been ignoring in your own life?

6. What reward is waiting for you should you decide to take action and remove those obstacles?

If you’d like to share your insight into this story, please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.

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