Once upon a time there was a tribe that was greatly blessed. It owned cattle and lands that produced fruits and vegetables in great abundance. But over time, tribe members noticed that their lands and cows were producing less and less milk and food. They could not understand why. The harder they worked, the less was available.
One young warrior decided to find out what was happening. He thought that perhaps someone in the tribe was taking more than his share of food or that thieves from other tribes were stealing the food at night. So he stayed up all night day after day looking for the thief. Finally, one night he saw a wondrous sight. A beautiful young woman descended from the stars carrying several large baskets. She milked the cows, picked vegetables and fruits and filled all of the baskets to the brim. She then returned to the stars.
The warrior was entranced. So he set a trap for her and continued his vigil until she returned again. When she descended, he captured her. He asked what she was doing and where she had come from.
She said that she was a member of a tribe in the stars. She told him that they had little food of their own and so she came down to find food for her community. She asked him to release her and let her go home.
He agreed on the condition that she return and marry him. She promised to return in three days.
When she came back she was carry a large box. She told the young warrior that she would marry him, but he must promise never to look in the box.
For months the couple was very happy with one another. But, one day when his wife had left to gather food, the warrior's curiosity got the best of him and he opened the box. He was amazed! There was nothing in it.
When the young woman returned, she soon realized that her husband was staring at her as though she was very, very strange. She gasped and turned pale. "You looked inside the box. I can't stay here anymore."
He replied, "That's ridiculous. There is no reason for you to leave. There was nothing in the box."
She said sadly, "I am sorry. Its not that you looked into the box. I expected you might grow curious. But, you see, I filled my box in the stars with everything that was important to me in my world: the air, the smells, the sights, the sounds, the tastes."
"I can't love you anymore now that I know that you find those treasures to be nothing."
From the book, "Who Needs God" by Harold Kushner