by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Don't Forget the Best (1 of 18)
Series: New Testament Sampler
Roger Thomas
Matthew 6:33

The old shepherds of the Swiss Alps love to tell the ancient legend to the young lads just setting their course in life. A poor shepherd boy named Hans was tending his mother's small flock. They were poor. Han's father had died when he was but a baby. The years had not been kind to mother and son.

Hans would daydream as he tended the flock, leading them from one patch of scraggly grass to another. He would dream of great wealth, of treasure, palaces, and all the marvelous gifts he would buy his mother some day.

But it was only a dream. Then one day Hans took the sheep into a new meadow. He sat under a tree as the sheep quietly grazed. This is where the story becomes unclear. The boy fell asleep or drifted into really deep daydream. We don't know for sure. Either way, he heard a voice. It said, "Take all you want, but don't forget the best." He had no idea where it came from or what it meant.

The sound woke him up (or prodded him out of his daydream). He looked in the direction of the sheep. All was well. He couldn't see a soul anywhere. But as he began to get up, he noticed something at his feet. It hadn't been there before. He was sure of that! He reached down and picked up the golden key, gleaming in the afternoon sun. He again heard a voice, "Take all you want but don't forget the best."

With the key in his pocket, he followed his flock toward a break in the side of the valley, beyond the edge of the meadow. A few minutes later, he spotted it. His eyes met something strange where the mountain wall met the grassy floor of the valley. He had never seen the cave before.

When he drew closer, he could see that just inside the cave, the opening was blocked with a great iron door secured with a huge lock. As he approached, he heard it again, "Take all you want but don't forget the best." He still hadn't a clue what the words m ...

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