Every now and then, you might feel like people are just piling it on. They just keep dumping more and more dirt on your back until you feel just like giving up. You’re carrying around so much dirt you just don’t think you can keep going. Circumstances aren’t going your way. All you need is a break. If only you could get a break things would be so much better. Or would it? Why not just shake it off and step it up.
There once was a farmer who had an old mule. The mule was so old that he was losing his sight. The mule’s sight got so bad that one dark evening he stumbled and fell down the farmer’s water well. The next morning, the farmer went out to do his chores but he couldn’t find the mule anywhere. He looked in the barn. He looked in the fields. He didn’t find the mule anywhere. But as the farmer went to the well to draw some water for the other animals, he heard the mule bawling in agony. The farmer looked down the well to see the poor mule hopelessly stuck at the bottom of the well.
The farmer looked at the poor mule and wondered how in the world he would ever be able to get him out of the well. The farmer called a few of his other farmer friends. They all looked at the problem and struggled to find a solution. They hooked up a harness around the mule to a couple of tractors and tried to pull the mule from the well. With each pull, the poor mule bawled in agony because he was really wedged against the walls of the well.
After a few futile attempts, the farmer was ready to give up. It was an old blind mule stuck in an old water well that he didn’t really needs since rural water was now available. The farmer finally decided to just put the poor mule out of his misery and just bury him in the well. So all of the farmers pitched in and started shoveling dirt into the well.
Well the poor mule couldn’t believe what was happening! How could the farmer just give up on him especially after all of the years of devoted service he gave that farmer? With each shovel of dirt the poor mule just bawled even louder. His cries were so pitiful it tore at the farmer’s heart but what was he do to? They couldn’t find a way to extricate the poor mule. So they just kept shoveling in the dirt.
After a while the mule quit bawling. There was just silence.
Eventually, the farmer wondered what happened to the poor mule. So he peered down into the well. Much to the farmer’s surprise he saw the mule standing there just inches from the top of the well. When the mule saw the farmers surprised look on his face, the mule lept from the well and went on his merry way.
All of the farmers were shocked. They thought the mule had surely succumbed to the weight of the dirt and the stress of the confinement.
But that old mule was smarter than the farmer thought. As each shovel of dirt fell on the mules back, the poor mule learned that his bawling was not going to help. The more he bawled, the more dirt the farmers shoveled down the well. But with each shovel of dirt, the mule learned he could just shake it off. As he shook the dirt off his back, it fell to the floor of the well. Slowly the bottom of the well filled with dirt and mule could take a new step up.
So the mule learned to shake it off and step up. Shake it off, step up. This went on until the mule climbed out of the well.
So next time you think people are shoveling dirt on your back, shake it off and step it up. Shake it off and step it up.