There is a story told of a king who lived long ago in a country across the sea. He was a very wise king, and spared no effort to teach his people good habits. Often he did things which seemed to them strange and useless; but all that he did, he did to teach his people to be industrious and mindful of others.
“Nothing good can come to a nation,” he said, “whose people complain and expect others to act for them. God gives the good things of this life to those who get involved and take action in the service of others.”
One night, while everyone else slept, he placed a large stone in the road that led past his palace. Then he waited to see what would happen.
First came a farmer with his wagon heavily loaded with grain, which he was taking to the mill to be ground.
“Well whoever saw such carelessness?” he said crossly, as he turned his team and drove around the stone. “Why don’t these lazy people have that rock taken from the road?” And so he went on complaining of the uselessness of others, but not touching the stone himself.
Soon afterward, a young soldier came singing along the road. The long plume of his cap waved in the breeze, and a bright sword hung at his side. He was thinking of the wonderful bravery he would show in the war.
The soldier did not see the stone, but struck his foot against it and went sprawling in the dust. He rose to his feet, shook the dust from his clothes, picked up his sword, and stormed angrily about the lack of concern of other people who had no more sense than to leave such a huge rock in the road. Then he, too, walked away, not once thinking that he might move it himself.
So the day passed. Everyone who came by complained and whined because the stone lay in the road, but no one touched it. They all remarked on how awful it was but none lifted a finger to move the rock.
At last, just at nightfall, the miller’s daughter came past. She was a hard-working girl, and was very tired, because she had been busy since early morning at the mill. But she said to herself, “It is almost dark. Somebody may fall over this stone in the night, and perhaps he could be badly hurt. I will move it out of the way.”
So she tugged at the heavy stone. It was hard to move, but she pulled and pulled, and pushed, and lifted until at last she moved it from its place. To her surprise, she found a box underneath. She lifted the box. It was heavy, for it was filled with something. Upon it was written: “This box belongs to the one who moves the stone.”
She opened the lid, and found it was full of gold!
The miller’s daughter went home with a happy heart. When the farmer and the soldier and all the others heard what happened, they gathered around the spot in the road where the stone had been. They scratched at the dust with their feet, hoping to turn up a piece of gold.
“My friends,” said the king, “we often find obstacles and burdens in our way. We may complain out loud while we walk around them if we choose, or we can do something about it. We can lift the burden for others and be blessed for doing so.”
Injustice is a stone on the Jericho Road. The stone is large. It is heavy. It is hard to move. Like the Farmer we can blame injustice on the uselessness of others. We can talk about the laziness of others while doing nothing to make a difference. Like the happy soldier we can praise God for our blessings and think about the battles in foreign lands while tripping on the rock right in front of us. Will we fight the war on our own doorstep or will we blindly miss the opportunity? Or as tired as we are, as difficult as the task may appear, will we get involved like the Miller’s daughter and do all we can to move the stone of injustice?
Jesus did. We should follow His example and
Go and Do Likewise.