One night, a group of nomads were preparing to retire for the evening when, suddenly, they were surrounded by a great light. They knew they were in the presence of a celestial being, and with eager anticipation they awaited a wondrous message of colossal importance that they knew must be especially for them.
Finally, a voice spoke. "Gather as many pebbles as you can. Put them in your saddlebags. Travel a day's journey, and tomorrow night will find you both glad and sad."
After having departed, the nomads shared their disappointment and anger with one another. They had expected the revelation of a great universal truth that would enable them to create wealth, health, and purpose for the world. But instead they were given a menial task that made no sense to them at all.
As they grumbled their discontent, however, the memory of their visitor's brilliance caused each one to pick up a few pebbles and deposit them in their saddlebags.
They traveled a hard day's journey, forgetting the pebbles they each carried with them. That night, while making camp, they reached into their saddlebags and discovered every pebble they had gathered had become a diamond. They were glad they had diamonds. They were sad they had not gathered more pebbles.
Moral of the story: Gather all the pebbles you can along life's journey and you can count on a future filled with diamonds.
-- Author Unknown