Long, long time ago in a land where kings ruled, the temple reigned and men farmed, something amazing happened to a little donkey named Sam. You see, Sam the Colt was a young fellow with great imagination, wild dreams and spades of impudent determination. Mostly, he aspired to be like his big, strong and talented dad. His dad, Abbott went on long adventurous trips, helped their owner, Mr. Nathan herd goats and even carried all the harvest to the market. Sam always wanted to help, he wanted to do grown up things; he wanted to be useful just like his dad. However things never worked out for Sam; whenever he attempted to lend a hand or a hoof in Sam’s case, it always ended in disaster.
One day Mr. Nathan planned a trip across the river to a distant land to sell some of the precious colored wool; collected from the sheep on the farm. Sam decided without telling his dad that he would join the trip and help lead the way, just like his dad always did. Sam’s dad had such a keen sense of direction; Sam believed it was hereditary. “I am sure I can help lead the way”, Sam thought. As Mr. Nathan was leaving for the long journey across the river, Sam tagged along without the knowledge of Mr. Nathan, or his father. Sam decided he would go ahead of the other donkeys and lead the way; since it was quite dark and no one would suspect it was him until sunrise. Sam would than take the credit for leading the way, once they arrived at their destination. An hour had passed by and Sam continued to gallop at a steady pace, making sure to follow the trodden path. However, Sam was not used to not having any light, or any experience to lead the way. There was a fork in the path up ahead, but Sam did not notice; he continued to the right, as the only light on offer was the shine from the moon. After two hours of forceful trotting, Mr. Nathan was in dire confusion when they had not reached their pit stop. All the donkeys needed some rest and water. Mr. Nathan soon realized that they were lost. He came to the head of the line and realized that Sam was leading the way. Mr. Nathan was quite upset and replied “Sam, You got us lost!” “Could we be lost?” Sam thought. “No way! We can’t be lost, I am genealogically prone to find the way, just like my Dad” Sam was lost even in his thoughts. Sam soon realized that he had made a mess of the whole trip. Sam was so terribly sad, because they were lost.
Sam was not one to give up easily, so the next day, Sam thought that he could help herd the goats with the other donkeys, so he went along. “How hard could it be?” he thought. “I always see the other donkeys doing it; all I have to do is run after the goats.” So that is exactly what Sam did, he ran after a goat, “I am going to be the best herd donkey ever”, he thought and so he ran and ran after the goat. He heard some yelling from behind, “I guess the other donkeys are cheering for me” he said to himself. “I’ll show them, I am the best herd donkey ever”. Until suddenly, it started to rain and he stopped running and looked around. He couldn’t believe it, where was everybody else? He looked around and saw the herd in the far distance. “Oh no! I chased this goat in the wrong direction!” Sam realized. He slowly walked back to the farm without the goat. He was so embarrassed. “What is everyone going to think of me, not only did I herd in the wrong direction, but I lost a goat” he thought. As he finally reached the farm, the other donkeys gave him derisive looks and jeered, saying “Sam is so dumb; he can’t even herd one goat”. Sam was so terribly sad, because he felt dumb.
Sam woke the next day and felt the sun shine on his face. His fur all clean after the drench-wash in yesterday’s rain, he felt a new sense of hope to do something useful. Sam decided to help Mr. Nathan carry the morning farm items to the market. Sam always wanted to carry things like his big strong Dad. So he got up real early the next day and prepared to wait at the gate to make sure Mr. Nathan will choose Sam to take to the market. Mr. Nathan was already upset that a goat was missing and that he had gotten them lost previously. However, Mr. Nathan was a kind fellow who loved God and gave everyone a chance, even young Sam. So as Sam waited at the gate, Mr. Nathan came out and said “Not you again! You want to help but you are too weak to carry the heavy load to market”. Sam hee-hawed saying “No! I’m strong, just try me!” Mr. Nathan understood that Sam wanted to help, so he said “Okay, I’ll give you a chance”. Mr. Nathan slowly lifted the milk and eggs onto Sam’s back, one by one. “This is not that heavy, ha! It is so light!” Sam thought as Mr. Nathan had put 10 jars of milk. Next Mr. Nathan loaded another 10 jars of milk of the other side of Sam’s back. “Okay it’s a little heavy, but I can bear this”, Sam thought. Next Mr. Nathan loaded 10 dozen eggs on top of the jars. “I’m sure that dad doesn’t carry this much to the market, this is really heavy, but that’s okay, the market is not that far away” Sam thought. Mr. Nathan took hold of the rope and lead Sam. Just as Sam took his first step, he placed one of his hoofs in a ditch, Sam tripped, and couldn’t keep his balance due to the heavy load, and he fell. The eggs flew up in the air and crashed on Mr. Nathan’s head and the jars broke and milk puddled the ground. “Oh no!” Mr. Nathan shouted “I knew you were too weak to carry the load!” Mr. Nathan lamented. Sam felt dreadful; he had completely destroyed all the items Mr. Nathan needed to bring to the market. Sam was so terribly sad, because he felt so weak.
As Sam returned back home, Mr. Nathan tied Sam off at the doorway of his house on the street, so that he could get cleaned up before taking Sam to the Farmhouse. For the first time in Sam’s life he felt so sad that tears began to fill his eyes, his heart began to wobble and his head was locked towards the ground. All Sam wanted to do is be useful, just like his dad, but every time he tried, he just failed. Everyone thought he was lost, dumb or weak; and now Sam too thought the same. What was the point of being a donkey, if he couldn’t do anything? Just then, Sam heard the voice of two men running towards him yelling “There’s the donkey!” He looked up and at once felt joy beyond measure “Are they talking about me? Are they calling me? They couldn’t be, could they?” Sam wondered. Sam was startled when the two men reached him, and started to untie him. Sam hee-hawed so loud that even Mr. Nathan heard the loud commotion and came to see what was going on. When Mr. Nathan saw what was happening, he questioned the two, even though he was frustrated with Sam saying “What are you doing, are you trying to steal my donkey?” When the two men raised their faces and looked at him; Mr. Nathan had something unexplainable happen within himself. All of the frustration and anger that Mr. Nathan felt towards Sam disappeared. At once he was remorseful at the way he had treated this young donkey. The two men then replied “The Lord has need for this donkey; we will return this young colt after using him.” At once, without question and unlike Mr. Nathan, he replied, “yes, take him.”
Even though Sam was startled and didn’t know these men, he felt such delight at the thought of being used for the Lord. The two men lead Sam to the
village of Bethphage at the Mount of Olives and placed clean cloths on his back. The men were readying Sam for the Lord; but Sam felt insecure. “What if I get lost when I lead the way? What if He thinks I’m too dumb? What if, I’m too weak to carry Him?” Sam thought. Just then, Sam looked up and he saw the most enduring eyes. They called him “Jesus”. Jesus gave Sam a good pat on the back, a great sense of peace overwhelmed Sam. All the questions that made him feel weak, dumb and lost were suddenly answered. Sam with his quintessential hope said to himself “I am going to be used for the Lord”. Jesus smiled at Sam, (like he knew exactly what Sam was thinking). Jesus climbed on to Sam, and Sam felt strong. A great multitude of people were gathered to see Jesus. Sam started to slowly trot through the crowd, knowing precisely what way he should go; since Jesus was with him he knew he would never be lost. As he entered the crowd, the people exclaimed, “Hosanna to the Son of David!, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” The large crowd laid down there cloaks and waved palm branches.
All this happened to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the Daughter of Zion ‘See your king comes to you gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey”. Before Sam was even born, God had a great purpose for him. God looked down at the heart of Sam, because he was so eager to be used. God used Sam for a great purpose; he was the chosen donkey that Jesus rode on. Jesus, the King of King and Lord of Lords chose Sam. The moral of this story is: If God can use a donkey; he can use [INSERT YOUR NAME].
Anne is a Canadian volunteer who served in the GEMS Hospital on a short termcommission.