The Touchstone

A man bought a book cheaply. It wasn't interesting but it held a paper with the secret of the touchstone! The touchstone was a pebble that turned any metal into gold. It lay among thousands of other pebbles on a beach that looked exactly like it. But the real stone felt warm, while others were cold.

The man bought supplies, camped on the beach and tested pebbles. If it was cold he threw it in the sea. Days stretched into weeks and weeks into months: no stone. One day he picked up a warm pebble. He threw it in the sea before he realized what he’d done. He’d formed such a strong habit of throwing each pebble into the sea that when the one he wanted came, he still threw it away.

So it is with opportunity. Unless we are vigilant, it's easy to fail to recognize an opportunity when it is at hand and it's just as easy to throw it away.