Sometimes the task in front of me is so overwhelming, all I want to do is give up. Recently I read a story about an Indian man who cut a path through a mountain by hand with nothing but a hammer and a chisel.
The Man Who Moved A Mountain – Milaap
It was 1960. Landless laborers, the Musahars lived amid rocky terrain in the remote Atri block of Gaya, Bihar, in Northern India. In the hamlet of Gehlour, they were regarded the lowest of the low in a caste-ridden society and denied the basics: water supply, electricity, a school, a medical center. A 300-foot tall mountain – Gehlour Ganj – loomed between them and civilization.
Like all the Musahar men, Dashrath Manjhi, worked on the other side of the mountain. At noon, his wife Phaguni would bring his lunch. As they had no road, the trek took hours over the mountain. Dashrath tilled fields for a landlord on the other side. He would quarry stone. And in a few hours from then, he would be tired and hungry. He would watch and wait for Phaguni.
One of those days, she would come to him empty handed, injured. As the sun harsh sun beat down, Phaguni tripped on loose rock. Her water pot shattered. She slid down several feet, injuring her leg. Hours past noon, she limped to her husband. He rushed to chastise her for being late. But on seeing her tears, he made a decision.
Dashrath sold his goats, and bought a hammer, chisel, and crowbar. He climbed to the top, and started chipping away at the mountain. Years later, he would recount, “That mountain had shattered so many pots, claimed lives. I could not bear that it hurt my wife. If it took all my life now, I would carve us a road through the mountain.”
Word spread. Chipping at the mountain, he quit his wage job. His family often went without food. Then, Phaguni fell ill. The doctor was in Wazirganj, 75 kilometers over the mountain. Unable to make the journey, she died. But her death only spurred him on.
After 22 years, Dashrath Das Manjhi, the outcast landless laborer had conquered the mountain: he had carved out a road 360 feet long, 30 feet wide. Wazirganj, with its doctors, jobs, and school, was now only 5 kilometers away. People from 60 villages in Atri could use his road. Children had to walk only 3 kilometers to reach school. Grateful, they began to call him ‘Baba‘, the revered man.
You can read the whole story here
When you hear a story like this, it makes you realize how trivial your problems are in comparison to someone else’s. It also makes you realize that insurmountable problems can be overcome if you just work at them long and hard enough.
Matthew 21:21-22 NIV
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Never give up. Whatever it is that seems impossible, is possible with God’s help. Even a hole through a mountain.