A village chief lay dying and wanted to choose a successor. He called his three sons and told them, “Sons, I am about to go to the place of the departed spirits and I must first choose one of you to be the next chief of this village. I want you to go to the yonder mountain, climb it, and bring me something from the mountain. Hurry because I will soon die. Life is quickly passing from me.”
The three sons hurried off to the mountain and individually began to climb it. After a couple of days the first son came and stood before the aged chief. He said, “Father, I have climbed high on the mountain and I have brought you a tree limb.” The chief asked him to go and wait for the return of the other two sons. Several days passed when the second son returned to the father. “Father, I have climbed high on the mountain and have gone above where the trees are. I have brought you a rock from the mountain,” he stated, visibly tired from the journey.
It seemed like a long time and the third son had not returned. Finally, he came and appeared before his father. “Father,” he began, “I have climbed high on the mountain. I have gone above where the trees are, and have climbed to the top. From the top of the mountain I could see far into the distance. I could see the river flowing, and smoke rising from distant huts. I saw the beauty of God’s creation. However, my dying father, I have nothing in my hand to bring you.” The old chief whispered, “You, my third son will lead my people because even though you have nothing in your hand to bring me, you do have something in your heart.”