The meteor attracts our eye, but it cannot direct our paths. For direction, we must rely on the fixed star, even though it sometimes might be hidden by fog or cloud.
The true depth of a pond cannot be known unless it is tested. So too is the true depth of human claims. How great, deep, or solid is knowledge, courage, love, perseverance, faith, integrity, and the like, we can know with certainty only when they are challenged.
Several members of a tour group were enjoying the sights of a waterfall in a popular tropical paradise when one noted a pile of trash littering the lawn nearby.
"Isn't that disgusting?" one of them said.
"Yes, that's terrible," said another. "What's wrong with people?"
"That ruins the experience," said a third. "Someone ought to pick it up."
"Don't look at me," the first one said. "I didn't put it there."
A fourth tourist, who had said nothing, quietly picked up all the litter--the cans, chip bags, crumpled napkins, even a soggy diaper--and put it all into a nearby trash can.
"Good for you," one of the others said.
"I don't know how you can touch that stuff," said another.
"Why did you pick that up?" asked the third.
"I've always believed," answered the quiet one, "that I should leave every place and every person a little better than when I arrived."
"How quaint," said the third tourist.
"I can't always make an improvement," the quiet one said, "but I must always try."
"That's so precious, you little custodian," said the second tourist, not realizing that the quiet one was speaking about much more that some trash on the lawn.