I just heard this story - relevant to my philsophical studies about free will - and decided it was interesting enough to blog. It's about fate and the will of what is beyond your control.
It's an old Islamic parable called Death in Samarkand:
The disciple of a Sufi of Baghdad was sitting in an inn one day when he heard two figures talking. He realised that one of them was the Angel of Death.
"I have several calls to make in this city," said the Angel to his companion.
The terrified disciple concealed himself until the two had left. To escape Death, he hired the fastest horse he could find and rode day and night to the far distant city of Samarkand.
Meanwhile, Death met the disciple's teacher, and they talked of this and that. "And where is your disciple, so-and-so?" asked Death.
"I suppose he is at home, where he should be, studying," said the Sufi.
"That is surprising," said Death, "for here he is on my list. And I have to collect him tomorrow, in Samarkand, of all places."