This is the first Wisdom Story I ever posted – on the 12th of October 2009. At the time, I had no idea that there would be 249 of them to follow…
A peasant came running up to a holy man, who was resting under a tree. “The stone! The stone! Give me the precious stone!”
“What stone?” asked the holy man.
“Last night I dreamed that I would find a holy man who would give me a precious stone that would make me rich forever,” replied the peasant.
The holy man rummaged through his bag and pulled out a stone. “He probably meant this one,” he said as he handed it to the peasant. “I found it on a forest path a few days ago. You can certainly have it.”
The man looked at the stone in wonder. It was a diamond, probably the largest diamond in the whole world; he took it and walked away. All night he tossed about in bed, unable to sleep. Next day at the crack of dawn he woke the holy man and said, “Give me the wealth that makes it possible for you to give this diamond away so easily.”
It deals with freedom from the desire to possess things. I remember a wise Superior once told me, “It’s amazing how some Jesuits will generously give up the big things, but then cling fiercely to the insignificant, little things that remain.” I’m afraid I’m one of those people.