The Best Time Today

Once upon a time there was a young man who used to meditate all day about the meaning of life. Most of the time he was pondering about the most important thing in life, because he thought the gravity of important issues could more easily lead people beyond the exterior of existence, and disclose to them the reason of things.
No matter how long he meditated and observed, he could get no result.
To clear his doubts, he decided to go and see an old sage, who lived alone in a far away forest.
When he finally met the old man, the sage asked him what brought him there.
The young man replied he was searching for the most precious deed one person could do to get close to God.
“What did you do on your way here?”asked the sage.
The young man thought he did not get the question, and repeated his demand.
Then the sage asked again: “What did you do on your way here?”
“I toiled,”said the young man, “because the road up the hill was very steep. I gasped and felt very thirsty. But I made an effort to patiently endure that troubled walking.”
“What did you do next?”
“I meditated, as I do every day. Today I pondered about imperturbability, that can be both a virtue and a fault.”
“What did you do next?”
“I helped an old man by taking his bundle of wood to his place. This meant a long detour on my route, but he was too weak for that burden.”
“What did you do next?”
The young man hesitated, then admitted: “I sat on a stone for a moment, and played with a marble that my father gave me when I left school. I apologize for wasting my time like that.”
“What action made you feel lighter?”asked the old man.
The young man, puzzled, looked at the sage. “Please answer my question”, the young man said, “I came to you with a demand.”
The sage repeated, as if he had not heard this last objection: “What action made you feel lighter?”
“Playing with the marble,”said the confused young man, “I was really free and happy; I had no thoughts – no worries.”
“That was the best time today,”said the sage, “when you yielded to play.”
“Play is a light yet serious activity, because then God is near you. You go beyond the surface of existence in the very same moment as you rise above it.”

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