A cobbler came to Rabbi Issac of Ger and said: “Tell me what to do about my morning prayer. My customers are poor men who have only one pair of shoes. I pick up their shoes late in the evening and work on them most of the night; at dawn there is still work to be done if the men are to have their shoes ready before they go to work. Now my question is: What shall I do about my morning prayer?”
“What have you been doing till now?” the Rabbi asked.
“Sometimes I rush through the prayer quickly and get back to my work – but then I feel bad about it. At other times I let the hour of prayer go by. Then too I feel a sense of loss and every now and then, as I raise my hammer from the shoes, I can almost hear my heart sigh, ‘What an unlucky man I am, that I am not able to make my morning prayer’.”
Said the Rabbi, “If I were God, I would value that sigh more than the prayer.”
More in The Prayer of the Frog (Volume I) by Anthony de Mello.
Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) was an Indian Jesuit priest and psychotherapist. A spiritual teacher, writer and public speaker, De Mello wrote several books on spirituality and hosted numerous spiritual retreats and conferences. He continues to be known for his storytelling, which drew from the various mystical traditions of both East and West.