My husband, John, is literate in Chinese. He recently pointed me to an ancient Chinese story that offers a word to the wise for churches, and a good thought for the new year. Dating from the third century BCE, it reminds me of that saying, “If you always do what you always did…”
One day, a farmer of Song was working in the fields, when he noticed a rabbit run by very fast and bump into a big tree by his field. The rabbit broke its neck and died beneath the tree. With very little effort, the farmer picked up the rabbit and took it home.
After the experience of picking up the rabbit, the farmer laid down his hoe and just sat under that big tree, hugging his knees, waiting for the next rabbit. But not a single rabbit ever came to bump into the tree again.
–From 100 Allegorical Tales from Traditional China. Rewritten by Wei Jinzhi. Translated by Jan and Yvonne Wells. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing Company, 1982.