There is an old story that has often been re-told in especially the Eastern Orthodox part of the church. According to the tale, a devout abbot from a Monastery decided to take a prolonged spiritual retreat in a small cabin located on a remote island in the middle of a large lake. He told his fellow monks that he wanted to spend his days in prayer so as to grow closer to God. For six months he remained on the island with no other person seeing him or hearing from him in all that time. But then one day, as two monks were standing near the shore soaking up some sunshine, they could see in the distance a figure moving toward them. It was the abbot, walking on water, and coming toward shore. After the abbot passed by the two monks and continued on to the Monastery, one of the monks turned to the other and said, “All these months in prayer and the abbot is still as stingy as ever. After all, the ferry costs only 25 cents!”
Humor aside, the point of the story is that it’s amazing how easily we may sometimes miss the significance of something that is right in front of us.
- Dissident Greek monks complain of persecution (nzherald.co.nz)