I came across this traditional Portuguese story a couple of weeks ago and thought that I would share it.

One day, a calf needed to cross an old forest in order to return to its pasture.

Being an irrational animal, it forged out a tortuous path full of bends, up and down hills.

The next day, a dog came by following the scent and used the same path to cross the forest.

Next it was a sheep’s turn, the head of a flock which, upon finding the opening, led its companions through it.

Later, men began using the path.  They entered the forest, turned to the right, to the left, bent down, deviating obstacles, complaining and cursing – and quite rightly so. But they did nothing to create a different alternative.

After so much use, in the end, the path became a trail along which poor animals toiled under heavy loads, being forced to go three hours to cover a distance which would normally take thirty minutes, had no one chosen to follow the route opened up by the calf.

Many years passed and the trail became the main road of a village, and later the main avenue of a town. Everyone complained about the traffic, because the route it took was the worst possible one.

Meanwhile, the old and wise forest laughed, at seeing how men tend to blindly follow the way already open, without ever asking whether it really is the best choice.

A few questions come to mind:

What path are you on?  Are you following blindly or is your path resourceful and meaningful?

If you’re a leader, where are you taking your people?  Are you taking them there because that’s what everyone else is doing, or are you forging a new path that will lead to far greater outcomes?

If you’re a Christian, try reading Psalm 25:4, Psalm 119:105 and Proverbs 3:6.

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