While walking on a way a traveler saw in a garden a beautiful apple tree and on its branches were hanging some big red apples which made your mouth water. The man noticing that there was nobody else around, what did he thought? It would have been good to taste some apples just for the sake of his relish.
But what to do? To reach the tree he had to pass over a very high fence and a big puddle.
He stood and fretted and losing his patience said to himself: `Be what may!` And he began to climb the fence.
He painstakingly succedeed to reach the yard but he was terribly upset because a thorn from the fence had clung on his coat and had torn it. Now what to do? He couldn`t change anything anymore! Moreover, rushing in, he forgot about the puddle full of mud and sank in it.
When he finally reached the apple tree, he took some apples but seeing how he looked said to himself:
`It`s true that I got what I wanted but did it worth? My good coat is torn, my shoes and trousers are dirty…
And how he stood like that and complained the master of the house showed up. When he saw how the traveler looked told him:
`Well, man, was it worth to make such an effort for a few apples? Look what it happened to you. And not to mention that I don`t understand why you tried to steal them? If you had knocked at my gate and asked me for some apples, I would have gladly given you. Now come into my house to wash yourself and rest and after that you can continue your journey.
The traveler was very content and glad seeing the kindness of his host, but in the same time he promised to himself that another time he would not be so thoughless.
In life it is not that important to get, but also how you get what you get.
There are people who want to have more and then they work restlessly. But others steal thinking all the time how to avoid work and cheat. These sinners cheat themselves because it is not that important to have a thing, it also matters how you got it.
`In the ephemeral matters you can become rich only impoverishing others. In the spiritual matters you can become rich only enriching others. `
(Saint John Chrysostom)
Excerpt from The Most Beautiful Orthodox Parables and Tales- Leon Magdan, Aramis Publishing – Romanian Patriarchy, 1998.