Let me recite for you a contemporary parable. The story concerns one Sadhu Sundar Singh, A Hindu convert to Christianity, who became a missionary in India. One late afternoon, Sadhu was traveling on foot through the Himalayas with a Buddhist monk. It was bitter cold and with night coming on the monk warned Sadhu that they were in danger of freezing to death if they did not reach the monastery before darkness fell.
Just as they were traversing a narrow path above a steep precipice, they heard a cry for help. Down the cliff lay a man, fallen and badly hurt. The monk looked at Sadhu and said, “Do not stop. God has brought this man to his fate. He must work it out for himself. Let us hurry before we too perish.”
But Sadhu, the Christian replied, “God has sent me here to help my brother. I cannot abandon him.”
The monk made off through the swirling snow while the missionary clambered down. The man’s leg was broken and he could not walk. So Sadhu took off his blanket and make a sling of it, and tied the man around his back. Then bending under his burden he began a body-torturing climb. By the time he reached the narrow path again, he was saturated with perspiration.
Doggedly he made his way through the deepening snow. It was dark now and it was all he could do to follow the path. But he persevered and though faint with fatigue and overheated from the exertion, he finally saw the lights of the monastery.
Then for the first time, Sadhu stumbled and nearly fell. But not from weakness. He had stumbled over some object lying in the path. Slowly he bent to one knee, and brushed the snow from the object. It was the body of the monk, frozen to death.
Years later a student of Sadhu asked him, “What is life’s most difficult task?”
Without hesitating he said, “Life’s most difficult task is to have no burden to carry.”