Series I, Part III: The Parable of The Man and The Path

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 | Labels: | |

As the man continues down his path, he notices another path which diverges from his original one. He stops to contemplate it:

"Should I take it?" he ponders

"After all, I have not taken this path before, and although it appears more difficult, it may very well be worth my while." He stands for a moment, considering it

"On the other hand, I do not know where this path will take me, for all I know, it will bring me right back here. So I would take a more difficult path to simply come back to where I started." He considers

All the while the man is pondering, another gentleman walking down the path sees him.

"Hello, good sir, may I ask what is it you are doing?" he asks

"Well, I am considering going down this path, but I have never been down it before, and I do not know where it will take me." The man answers

"Ahh, this is a simple one, if you have not yet taken the path, does it not appear more logical simply to follow the one you are familiar with? After all, you know where it leads, and it will bring you to where you want to go." He responds confidently

The man thinks about his response for a moment, "I suppose you could be correct, however, I am still torn on the issue."

In this, he replies, "Well my friend, you are at quite a dilemma, I hope I have been of some help, but I should be on my way." And he continues down the path.

The man continues to contemplate, "Perhaps he was correct in suggesting I just take the path I know. After all, it is much safer and easier, it will not cause concern because I will know what to expect. If I just ignore that I have noticed this new path, or if I had never noticed this new path to begin with, it would never have made a difference."

During his consideration, a second man walking down the path approaches him and asks, "Excuse me sir, are you lost? Can I help you?"

The man responded, "I wouldn't say I am lost, although I am in a sense. I am considering taking this path here, which I have never taken before, and it appears more rigorous."

He replied, "Well, why is it you even want to take the path if you do not know where it will take you?"

The man was shocked by his question, as he had not yet considered it, "This is a good question, I suppose my reasoning for taking the new path is that I have never taken it before, and am curious as to where it will take me."

He replied again, "What is it you will be leaving behind on taking this new path?"

The man replied, "I may not reach my destination when I wanted too, or I may end up getting lost on the new path. If I get lost, surely I will have trouble getting back to the path I know."

He was astounded by the mans contemplation, "I'm afraid I cannot help you, after all, if you do not know whether or not you want to leave this path behind, I would think it is better simply to take the path you know. It is much safer."

The man responded, disappointed, "I suppose you are correct, I will consider it only a little while longer."

He replied, "I am sorry I couldn't help you more, I must be on my way."

The gentleman continued down his path and left the man to contemplate:
"I do not understand why I am struggling, clearly it makes more sense to simply take the path I know. Both of these gentlemen who have spoken to me have suggested it was the better option. It just does not appear to merit the risk by taking this new path."

As he was considering this, a third man heading down the path stopped and asked him a question, "Excuse me sir, you seem lost, is there anything I can help you with?"

"I do not know if you can help me, I surely am lost, the two gentlemen before you already told me the answer to my question." The man responded.

He persisted, "Perhaps I can help, I sure would like too, what is your dilemma?"

The man, frustrated at this point, replied "I was considering taking this path I have never taken before, although it appears there is no logical reason in taking it other than curiosity. I do not know where it will take me, I do not know if I will get lost, I do not know if I will ever get back here again. It is just not safe."

He replied, "Ahh my friend, you have reached a point many before you have, and the answer is simple. Take the path you have not taken."

The man, shocked by his response replied "What? There appears to be no reasoning behind this."

He responded, "Of course there is, for taking the paths not yet taken is the purpose of all life. The path you now know, at one point, was a path you had not taken, and if you had not taken it, this new path never would have crossed you. Therefore, to not take the path simply because you have not taken it before is hypocritical, for you have done this before, and it has resulted in a great many things."

The man, astounded by his logic replied, "This I have never considered, although I do not know this path, there are potential benefits in knowing it, and perhaps I should take it."

He replied, "Exactly, and although you may end up where you started, the path will no longer be unknown, and when you look back, you will never regret not taking a chance on the path you did not know. I hope I have helped you, but I must be on my way."

The man, contented, replied "Yes, you have helped me very much, and I have made my decision."

He responded, "I am glad I could have helped, good luck to you sir."

The man decided to take the path he had not yet traveled, and take the risk of leaving familiarity behind, and discovering that which is unknown to him.

Craig Chamberlin