A man made a promise to carry a cross to the top of a mountain if a certain wish of his were satisfied.
God granted him what he asked for. He had the cross made, and set out on his climb. After a few days he found that the cross weighed more than he had reckoned – and borrowed a saw to cut off a good section of the wood.
On reaching the top of the mountain he noticed that – separated by a gulf – there was another mountain.
Over on the other side, everything was peace and tranquility; but he needed a bridge to get over there. He tried to use the cross – but it was a bit too short.
And then he realized that the piece he had cut off was exactly what was missing to enable him to cross the abyss.