The Patient Saint
A recluse lived under a large yew tree. Every day he spent much of his time praying to the Lord. After many years, he was visited by an angel who said it was his duty to report to the Lord on the progress of those who did their spiritual practice with devotion.
The recluse asked if the angel would find out when it would be his happy lot to meet the Lord. The angel agreed to do this and left on his mission.
Shortly afterwards the angel returned, and informed the recluse that he would not meet the Lord until many years had passed as there were needles on the yew tree above his head.
The recluse immediately began to dance for joy. The angel was very puzzled by this reaction.
“Do you understand that there are millions of needles on this tree?” he asked. “And that you will not meet the Lord until millions of years have passed?”
The recluse said he had understood this very clearly.
“Why then are you so happy?” asked the angel.
The recluse replied, “I am happy because at last I have received a reply from my Beloved, and he has promised that we shall indeed meet one day. When that meeting takes place is not important.”
At that very instant the Lord himself appeared and embraced the recluse. Surprised, the angel reproached the Lord, “You told me that the meeting wouldn’t happen for many years and now I look like a liar.”
The Lord responded, “These things are for ordinary men. When there is someone special who has transcended the laws of time and space within himself, then I also cast those laws aside”.