One day a lion cub was playing alone in the wilderness while his mother slept. The baby lion decided that he’d explore a bit and see what the great world beyond his home was like. Before he realized it, he’d wandered so far that he couldn’t find his way back. He was lost.
Very frightened, the cub ran frantically in every direction calling piteously for his mom, but she didn’t hear him. Weary from searching, he didn’t know what else to do. Then a sheep, whose offspring had been taken from her, heard his cries and adopted him.
The sheep became very fond of her foundling, who in a short while grew so large that at times she was almost afraid of him. Often she’d detect a strange, far-off look in his eyes that she couldn’t understand.
Nonetheless, the foster mother and her adopted cub lived very happily together until one day when a magnificent lion appeared, sharply outlined against the sky on the top of a nearby hill. He shook his tawny mane and uttered a terrific roar, which echoed through the countryside. The mother sheep stood paralyzed with fear, but the cub listened as though spellbound.
The lion’s roar had touched a chord in his nature that he’d never felt before. New desires and a consciousness of his power possessed him. Instinctively he answered the lion’s call with a corresponding roar.
Trembling with mingled fear, surprise, and bewilderment at the feelings aroused within him, the awakened animal gave his foster mother a last look and then, with a tremendous leap, started toward the lion on the hill.
The lost cub had found himself. Until then he’d gamboled around his sheep mother just as though he were a lamb, never dreaming that he could do anything different from the ordinary sheep around him. He hadn’t imagined that he had within him a power that could strike terror in the other beasts of the jungle. Whereas he used to tremble at the mere howl of a wolf, he was now amazed to find that the animals that had terrified him before now fled from him.
As long as the baby lion thought he was a sheep, he was as timid and retiring as one. He had only a sheep’s strength and courage and could never have exerted the command of a lion. If someone had suggested that he could, he would have asked, “How could I be so powerful? I’m only a sheep.”
But when the lion was awakened in him, he instantly became a new creature, the king of beasts. The roar he heard hadn’t given him any new abilities; it had merely brought forth what was already within him, revealing what he’d always possessed. Never again could this young animal be satisfied to act like a sheep. From then on he’d live as a lion.
There is in every human being a sleeping lion. It’s just a question of rousing it… of finding something that will stir the depths of our being and awaken the powers within. Just like the cub, when we at last discover that we’re more than mere clay and have the Divine Spirit within us, we shall never again be satisfied to live like a common clod of earth. We’ll feel a new sense of strength welling up that we didn’t know we possessed, and we’ll no longer be content with low-flying ideals and cheap success. Instead, we’ll seek higher and higher planes.
In a Nutshell
Let go of everything else if you must but never lose your own esteem. This is a priceless pearl and is dearer to you than your breath. Protect it with all your might.
Perhaps the past has been a bitter disappointment for you. In reviewing it, you may feel that you’ve been a failure or at best have been plodding along in mediocrity. Yet in spite of any setbacks, if you refuse to be conquered, victory is awaiting you farther down the road.
Try to bring forth your enormous potential. You know that it’s there and can instinctively feel it. Your intuition and ambition tell you that there’s much more in you than you’ve ever discovered or used. Why don’t you stir it up and call it out?