Rowing with one oar

An old man was making preparations to go out in his rowing boat. He wanted to catch fish for the family. His little grandson pleaded with him, "Grandfather, today you have to take me. You never take me out in your boat."

The grandfather replied, "It is boring, boring! You will not like it."

The child said, "No, I will like it. You have to take me." Finally, the grandfather said, "All right. You can come with me today."

As soon as they climbed into the rowing boat, the little boy saw that on one oar was written the word 'work' and on the other oar was written the word 'pray'. He said to his grandfather, "Why do you have to pray here? You are going out to sea to work. There you will be catching fish. Praying is not necessary. Only hard work is needed. What has that to do with prayer?"

So his grandfather very patiently said, "Is that so? All right, let us not use the oar that says 'pray'. Let us only use the other oar and let us see where we go."

The little boy was so happy to be able to prove to his grandfather that he was right. He grabbed the oar and started rowing. Alas, the boat did not go forward! It only went around and around and around. It would not go straight out to sea.

The little boy asked his grandfather, "Why? Why is it like that? Why are we not going anywhere?"

The grandfather replied, "Life is like that. Life itself has a destination and, at the same time, life is a long road. Now, on this long road, with one leg, how far can we go? We need two legs. Always we need two hands or two legs to accomplish something really great. For everything, God gives us two. If we have good vision in both eyes, then we are perfect. Like that, prayer and work must go together. We cannot separate them. With work alone, we will not be able to reach God. When we are working, we have to keep prayer inside our mind. We have to be in a prayerful mood when we want to see God. And when we are praying, we have to keep in our heart that we are serving God in a very special way. Now let us continue our journey using both the oars and you will see that we will go straight to our destination!"