Two friends decided to take up the hobby of hiking. They immediately fell in love with nature and enjoyed being out in it for extended periods of time. What started out as one day hikes turned into overnight trips and then into weeklong excursions.
They were so enthused by their new-found sport that they shared of their experience with everyone. And when they were hiking, they enjoyed meeting other trekkers in the woods. They would stop and chat, and sometimes even fellowship around a campfire with them.
As they progressed in this sport, the one hiker began to add more and more gear to his pack. He purchased a lightweight stove, then a sleeping bag and pad that packed into a smaller space. Then came the water purifier and a small hatchet. As he added more equipment, his pack became heavier and heavier. But because he was in good shape, he was able to carry it. And all of these items made the trips more enjoyable.
Gradually, he became more and more self-satisfied with his collection of stuff, to the point where he questioned his friend’s commitment, since he continued to enjoy these hikes with a lighter pack containing only what he needed for each trip. The first hiker carried his well-stocked pack on each outing, even if it was just a short one day hike.
Earlier on, when they would meet other hikers in the woods, the conversation would center on the beauty of creation and their mutual enjoyment of the experience. But now, this hiker would start out by interrogating them on what their packs contained. He would immediately assess their dedication to the sport by comparing what they lacked by what he carried. And if they did not pass his evaluation, he deemed them inferior and even questioned whether they could call themselves “hikers.”
Finally, he ostracized himself from everyone, including his closest friend. He blamed them for the separation, since they were not as dedicated as he to the sport. And so he hiked alone, satisfied to be apart from those who were not as devoted as he was.