THE OLD MULE
A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell
into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule ‘braying’ — or
whatever mules do when they fall into wells.
After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with
the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the
trouble of saving.Instead, he called his neighbors together and told
them what had happened…and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury
the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his
neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back…a thought
struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of
dirt landed on his back… HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! This he
did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up…shake it off and
step up…shake it off and step up!” he repeated to encourage
No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed
the old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND
You’re right! It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and
exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well!
What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him… All
because of the manner in which he handled his adversity. Hey, that’s
If we face our problems and respond to them positively and refuse to
give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity… the adversities that
come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to
benefit and bless us!
Remember that forgiveness — faith — prayer — praise and hope all
are excellent ways to “shake it off and step up” out of the wells in
which we find ourselves!