There was once a hard-working and generous farmer who had several idle and greedy sons. On his deathbed he told them that the would find his treasure if they were to dig in a certain field. As soon as the old man was dead, the sons hurried to the fields, which they dug up from one end to another, and with increasing desperation and concentration when they did not find the gold in the place indicated.
But they found no gold at all. Realizing that in his generosity their father must have given his gold away during his lifetime, they abandoned their search. Finally, it occurred to them that, since the land had been prepared they might as well now sow a crop. They planted wheat, which produced an abundant yield. They sold this crop and prospered that year.
After the harvest was in, the sons thought again about the bare possibility that they might have missed the buried gold, so they again dug up the fields, with the same result. After several years they became accustomed to labor, and to the cycle of the seasons, something which they had not understood before.
Now they understood the reason for their father’s method of training them, and they became honest and contented farmers. Ultimately, they found themselves possessed of sufficient wealth and no longer to wonder about the hidden hoard.
This is from The Heart of the Enlightened, a book of spiritual stories by Anthony de Mello.