“If your journey is of God then my blessing will be unnecessary,” the Patriarch explained to his son. “And if it is not of God, then my blessing will be useless.”
“But Father, I cannot go without your benediction. That is the law.”
“Son, if I said that I thought the venture was foolhardy and unlikely to prosper – what would you have said?”
“I would have replied, that you could not possibly know and that I would prove your opinion wrong, and then I would ask for the required blessing.”
“And if I then said the formal words, but without a godly intent, or my heartfelt belief in your cause – what would you have done?” the old man asked.
“I would have knelt to receive my blessing, and then ran off to join my friends at the pier,” the son replied.
“Then, as I have said, my blessing would be truly useless. Therefore, I shall not sully the sacred words by thus uttering them.”
The young man stared at his father in disbelief, and then shouted, “I hate you,” and ran off into the fields to feel sorry for his misfortune of having such a hateful father.
While the young man moped, his friends set sail to find their fortunes. Later that day the tiny ship was caught up in a freak storm and was lost with all on board.
When word of the tragedy reached the village, the Patriarch turned his face heavenwards and said, “Thanks for the heads up.”