"Once upon a time there was a master who had many disciples, and, of course, there was an inner group that was privy to his personal talks, explanations, and even shared prayer with him. One of the disciples who had left everything to follow him sought to gain entrance into that group.

"One day a friend of his came to visit, and they walked together and talked. The disciple talked only of the master — his goodness, wisdom, understanding, and how privileged he was to be allowed to be one of his disciples. His friend listened closely and watched his friend's face. He was glowing and alive with his enthusiasm and love for his teacher. When questioned, the disciple said that he would do anything for his master, follow him anywhere, that he trusted him completely and was secure in being one of his followers. The friend left, wondering whether he too should leave everything and become a follower.

"Later that same evening the master sent word for the disciple to come and walk with him awhile. The disciple was overjoyed. He was being singled out to walk with the master. What a blessing, what a gift. The master mentioned within moments that he had overheard the disciple speaking about him to his friend. Immediately the disciple said, 'Master, I meant every word that I said. It is all true. I would go anywhere and do anything for you. I am so grateful that you have chosen me to be one of your disciples, and I'm so honored that you would take this time to walk with me. I am so overwhelmed by our goodness I don't know what to say.'

The master waited until he had finished and then asked him quietly, 'Do you know why I chose you to be one of my disciples?'

" 'Uh, no,' replied the disciple. 'I never thought that much about it.'

" 'Well,' said the master, 'I chose you because you needed it more than a lot of others.'

"The disciple was devastated. The master did not say anything else and they continued to walk together, alone in the oncoming night."