The following story is from “The Alchemist“.
“Our Lady, with the Baby Jesus in her arms, decided to come down to Earth and visit a monastery. The monks proudly joined in a long queue, and each of them came before the Virgin to render their homage. One declaimed beautiful poetry, another showed his illuminated paintings of biblical subjects, a third repeated the names of all the Saints. And so on, one monk after the other, praising Our Lady and the Baby Jesus.
The last monk of all there, was the humblest in the whole monastery, who had never studied the learned books of the time. His parents were simple people, who worked in an old travelling circus, and all they had taught him was to throw balls into the air and juggle with them.
When it was his turn, the other members of the order wanted to bring the homage to a conclusion, since the old juggler would have nothing important to say and might lower the image of the monastery. But in the bottom of his heart, he also felt a burning need to give something of himself to Jesus and the Virgin.
Ashamed, conscious of the disapproving looks of his brothers, he took a few oranges from his bag, and started to juggle them in the air, saying that juggling was all he knew how to do.
It was at that moment that the Baby Jesus, sitting on Our Lady’s lap, smiled and started to clap his hands. And the Virgin reached out her arms, inviting him to hold the baby.”
I read this and re-read this a dozen times and I am so happy that this story goes on to impress on the fact – Follow thy heart.
Sometimes, even learning the books of the time and reciting them, might not have any meaning to life, if that is not what your heart want.
That simple juggler was the only one who made Baby Jesus happy, because he did what his heart told him to do. And there is no need to shy away from doing juggling, among the learned people. When you be yourself, you are being honest and it will help you to shine among others.
And that holds true in front of God. The other monks who recited poems or the names of all the saints were not called by the Virgin to come and hold the Baby. Its simplicity that always wins and simplicity is just by following thy heart.