It is amazing how our past can haunt us for the rest of our lives. Something that was said to us or done to us that plays on our minds for ever.Or maybe it was something we did that changed the way we responded to challenges or events.
I wish this morning to share a tale that is a bit longer than the normal ones I manage to drag from my memory but it does make a rather important point.
Zenkai, the son of a famous samurai, became the protector of a high official. He was after all well trained by his father in the art of defence.
He met the wife of the high official and instantly fell in love with her. The official discovered this and was overcome with rage and attacked Zenkai. In self defence, he slew the official and ran away the wife going with him.
They had nothing but what they wore and so they stole to feed themselves. The wife realising how easy it was to be a thief grew greedier and greedier and Zenkai became disgusted with the life that had befallen him.
Finally he left her and travelled many miles and spent much time learning about life and himself. He became a wandering teacher.
He was always aware of his past and felt that in some way he had to accomplish something to atone for the errors he had made. So he resolved to accomplish some good deed in his lifetime that would make him worthy.
In the region he lived there was a very dangerous road over a cliff that regularly caused death and injury. He resolved to cut a tunnel through the mountain to stop people having to travel the dangerous road.
Doing what tasks he could in the daytime, he worked at night digging his tunnel.
After thirty years of digging the tunnel was 2,280 feet long, 20feet high, and 30feet wide, a very substantial tunnel.
Two years before the work was complete, the son of the official who he had slain, who was a skilful swordsman, found Zenkai and came to take his revenge on behalf of his father.
"I will give you my life willingly," said Zenkai. "Only let me finish this work. On the day it is completed, then you may kill me.
The son awaited the day.
Several months passed and Zenkai kept on digging. The son grew tired of doing nothing and began to help with the digging,
After he had helped for more than a year, he came to admire Zenkai's strong will and character.
At last the tunnel was complete and people could travel in safety and many lives were saved.
"Now cut off my head," said Zenkai. "My work is done."
"How can I cut off my own teachers head? asked the younger man with tears in his eyes."
A bad start or a few misdeeds does not have to make the rest of your life a bad one. It is never ever to late to make amends and to make life better.
This is just one of the many messages contained in this tale.
have a wonderful day, bring joy to somebody today.