A traveler was
making his way, feeling confident and safe, walking a while
and then running a while, and then resting or sleeping. He came across a
shady place, with abundant cool water and a blossoming
garden, and decided to rest for a while.
While he was relaxing, he was
attacked by an enemy who seized him and tied him up. He saw destruction
looming and thought that his end had come, that he would become a feast
for lions and never reach his destination.
While he was in
this state, troubled by thoughts of despair, his merciful and caring father
suddenly appeared before him. He untied him and told him to be on
his way and to be wary of the enemy which lurked in ambush along the
road. He assured him that as long as he remained alert and
vigilant he would not be overcome, but that if he was negligent he would once
again be captured. His father said that he would go ahead and lead him to
If the traveler stayed alert and
kept his presence of mind and remained prepared for his enemy, then his
journey would be better than it had been before, and he would arrive more
quickly. If, on the other hand, he forgot about his enemy and returned
to his former state of inattention and forgetfulness, indifferent
to danger and only mindful of the pleasant garden, then he would once
again become an easy target.