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There was once a king who worried – he worried about everything and was very unhappy – he feared for battle, he feared about the treasury, he feared about the court. He was so unhappy that his face was lined with worry all the time.
One day he asked himself – how do the common people find happiness –
So he decided to find out – secretly he dressed in rags and went out unrecognized into the market – after a full day wandering about he passed a rundown cottage on the outskirts of the city.
When he peered in he saw a man sitting in very poor conditions eating a loaf of bread – the king knocked on the door and the man invited the king, disguised as a beggar, in to share his bread.
The king was amazed at this poor man’s generosity – and after eating with him asked the beggar, “Why are you so happy?”
The poor man said, “It was a good day, I’m a cobbler who repairs shoes and today I fixed enough shoes to earn a loaf of bread.”
The king inquired what would happen if he didn’t repair enough shoes to earn the bread – to which the cobbler, after looking keep into the king’s troubled eyes and worry lined face said, “Day by day I have faith. All will be well.”
So the king decided to test the poor man’s faith. He left and made a decree that no one in the kingdom could fix their shoes – they had to use what they had or buy new.
The next morning the poor man felt bad about losing his work – however he looked around and noticed a woman getting water out of a well and he helped her – she gave him a gold coin.
All day long the poor man helped people with their water and earned enough money for his bread and some wine.
Again the king visited the poor man disguised as a beggar and again the poor man welcomed him in – and when the king was surprised by not only bread but wine – the poor man said – “I made more today carrying water than I did as a cobbler – so the loss of my first profession has made room for a new one!”
The king asked, “What if tomorrow you can’t carry water?” and the poor man said, “Day by day, I have faith. All will be well.”
The next day the king made it illegal to carry water for others.
Again the poor man looked around – this time he saw woodcutters and asked the man in charge if he needed help and he did – that day he earned enough for bread, wine and cheese.
When the king as beggar came – again he was surprised – again he asked the man what he would do if he didn’t carry wood and again the man smiled and said, “Day by day, I have faith. All will be well.”
The king decided to text the poor man’s faith some more–
The next day the king commanded that all woodcutters must become gate guards – so that day the poor man stood guard outside the gates in a stiff uniform with a sword strapped to his side – when the day was done – he asked the caption for some money for his day and the caption told him they pay the guards once a month –
The poor man again had faith and suddenly an idea came to him as he passed a pawn shop – he would sell the sword he was wearing – and buy it back in a month when he got his pay – so he did that and received enough money for a whole month of food –
Before he prepared the evening meal that night the poor man carved a wooden sword to put in place of the metal one in the scabbard he wore.
That night when the king dressed as a beggar came it was a real feast and the king was ever more surprised.
When the poor man told him what he had done and showed him the wooden sword –(of course not knowing the beggar was really the king) the king decided he would test the poor man yet again – because every time he asked the poor man what he thought would happen if he didn’t have the job he did each day, the poor man always replied,
“Day by day, I have faith. All will be well.”
“We’ll see” thought the king
So the next day as the poor man was guarding the gate the king’s soldiers, followed by a noisy crowd, dragged a man accused of being a thief in front of the gate. The captain took the thief up to the poor man and said, “This thief has stolen a melon. The king has ordered you to cut off his head immediately.”
The thief begged for mercy. He fell to his knees weeping because he stole only because his children were going hungry.
The poor man guarding the gate – in his stiff uniform with his hidden wooden sword considered the situation – if he pulled out that wooden sword – he would be killed too. However he reminded himself – “All will be well”
As the crowd watched he raised his arms to the heavens and cried out, “Blessed be the Most High! If this man is truly guilty, give me the strength to serve the king’s command. But if this man is innocent,” he said, gripping the handle of the sword at his side, “let the blade of my sword be turned to wood!”
Dramatically, he drew his wooden sword and thrust it high above his head.
“It’s a miracle!” people exclaimed.
At that moment the king stepped forward from out in the crowd. He approached the poor man in the guard uniform and asked, “Do you recognize me?”
The poor man said, “You are the king!”
“No” replied the king, “I am the beggar whom you fed each night.”
Then the poor man recognized the king then because of the worry lines on his face and the poor man smiled.
The king smiled back – and told him, “From tonight on my friend you will dine with me! Your light of faith can help me chase away my dark fears of the future.
And so it came to pass that the man, who owned little but was rich in faith, became the wise and trusted advisor to the king.
This story – though long is such a great example for all of us –
Sometimes we’re the king – worry affects us – lessens us – makes us suspect other people – and we test them – Worry affects us in unfavorable ways and we act unlike our true wonderful selves.
What if we chose to be like the poor man – in the way he looked and saw opportunity everywhere – how he helped others first without consideration of the amount if anything he would earn –
What if we asked more people if they needed our services? Might we make more and more and be ever happier?
Today – if a door has closed for you – can you celebrate it? Realizing it might lead to an even better opportunity?
Have faith – share, give, ask and smile – All will be well!
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