I love stories, and every once in a while, I'll hear a short and simple one that I never forget.

Here's my version of one I heard a long time ago at church.

- - -

A lady sat by the road. A man passed. He was traveling to the next town and he saw the lady. "Are you from the next town?" He asked the lady.

"Yes." the lady answered.

"What kind of a town is it?"

The lady said, "What kind of town did you just come from?"

"It was a good town," the man replied. "The people were friendly and kind. I loved it there. I am heartbroken to have to leave."

The lady responded, "You're in luck then. The town you are going to is just the same as the town you passed." And the man, happy in the knowledge that he was going to a good place, traveled on.

The lady sat some more. Another man came by going in the same direction as the first. He saw the lady and had a similar conversation.

"Are you from the next town?"


"What kind of a town is it?" the man asked.

"What kind of town did you come from?"

"It was an awful town. The people were rude and inept. I have never been so happy to leave a place in my life." the man forcefully replied.

The lady shook her head in sadness. "I'm afraid that you are in trouble my friend. The town ahead is just the same as the town you left." The man turned with a curse and traveled on.

- - -

I heard this story a long time ago. At church, I think. And I have never forgotten the gist of it.

I've met both sorts of people--the people who can't wait to leave and the people who were heartbroken to leave. I have analyzed my life and realized that, thankfully, I land in the category of the people who were heartbroken to leave. I've only ever been glad to leave one place in my life.

But I know of people who love the place they are living for about a year and then suddenly the grass is greener elsewhere. It's almost like they find out that where they are living has as many quirks as the old place did, so they can't be happy there any more.

I know the parable doesn't always fit. There are so many reasons that a person can come to hate where they are living. I can think of several reasons that I would want to leave a place (getting threatened by your neighbors for one).

But I'm glad that, for the most part, I have always been able to love where I live.

- - -

What are the simple stories that have impacted you? The ones that are so true that they strike something deep in you and stay? I mean, why in the world would some punk (Okay, okay, I was never a punk. I was the quintessential goody two-shoes, but you know what I mean.) teenage girl remember this? I'm going to toss more of these out for the picking.
6 Responses
  1. That's a classic. I also love the one about the golden city and the man with the devils on his back.

  2. Kimberly Says:

    I've never heard this one before - very poignant!

  3. L.T. Elliot Says:

    That's an excellent story. I hope I'm the kind that is heartbroken to leave--although there are a few places I'm glad to have left behind me.

  4. Melanie J Says:

    That story tells such a truth. I'm completely convinced you find what you're looking for, so you have to ask yourself if all you see is the bad, what were you trying to find?

    I think that's why moving doesn't make me nervous. I always find something I like.

  5. Kazzy Says:

    I like that story, and will have to remember to tell it to my kids.

    Maybe the reason it has stuck with you is because you were, as you have mentioned before, a big reader. Readers are much more apt to remember a narrative kind of lesson, I would think. You would have been a good audience member when Christ was teaching in parables. :)

  6. Luann Says:

    Great story! I think it's going to stick with me for a while.

    I think I'm the heartbroken to leave kind. At least I want to be. I don't always get here, but I keep reminding myself that I'm a work in progress.