Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Last Straw

An Arab tale I recently discoverd that illustrates the humility necessary to honor the King of Kings w/ our so called good works.

A proud camel is chosen to carry the wise men's gifts to the new baby King in Bethlehem. He's reluctant & full of reasons (excuses!) he doesn't want to do it. However, when he realizes how much the younger camels admire him because he's been asked, it causes him to become much too proud & to foolishly boast of his great strength - & before he knows it, he's heading toward Bethlehem.

On the way, Hoshmakaka meets many others who have heard of his great strength & want him to carry their gifts to the new King too. How can he say no?! He begrudgingly burdens himself w/ ALL the additonal gifts & complains throughout the journey. Finally - when he feels his back is about to break & he can go no further, a small child begs him to carry his gift, just a piece of straw, for the baby King's bed. Hoshmakaka, perhaps foolishly, agrees when the child reminds him how strong he has heard he is - tho' it's all Hoshmakaka can do to put one foot in front of the other from then on. Just as he reaches the manger he realizes he can no longer carry this burden in his own strength - it's just too much(!) & falls to his knees. He's embarrassed as he sees others there he believes are mocking him - who are actually following his lead(!) - bend their knees & bow their heads. Just then - a tiny hand reaches out from the manger & touches his head. Suddenlly he can no longer feel his burden & from then on there was no burden, too great or too small, that Hoshmakaka would not gladly carry for the King.