Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Parable of the Quest: Part 2

Read Part One Here

The Power:

Justus picked up the flute and began to examine it. It appeared to a simple silver tube with holes at various spots along its length. Justus had never demonstrated any musical ability and he wondered why the Prince would give him such a gift.

Tentatively Justus put the flute to his lips and slowly began to blow. The result was a soft melodious note that grew in volume the harder Justus blew. Then Justus experimented with playing different notes, and though he had no training it seemed everything that he did was right. The notes didn’t clash, but instead produced a wonderful song.

As Justus played a curious thing began to happen. Small animals began appearing in the area around the big old oak tree. Rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and small birds came out of their hiding places and stopped their scurrying as if to listen to the beautiful song of the flute. Justus, with his eyes closed, did not notice the small animals. All he glimpsed were the tails of scurrying animals as they raced back into the tall grass and the forest.

“Perhaps I could get the hang of this with a little practice ,” Justus thought.

Justus wished he had something to put the flute in so it wouldn’t get damaged. Then he remembered the empty candy tin that was still in his traveling bag. He opened the bag and took out the tin. Justus then carefully wrapped the flute in the fabric it was lying on in the box and placed the wrapped flute in the candy tin. It almost fit perfectly. Closing the lid Justus slipped the tin back into his traveling bag.

The compass was next to be examined. It sure looked like a compass, but the needle didn’t point north, instead it pointed towards the southeast and no matter how Justus turned the device the needle always swung back over to the same position. Would the Prince have given him a broken compass? No, Justus knew the Prince too well for that to be the case. The reality, Justus realized, was that he didn’t know what the device was. Not wanting to waste anymore time on it Justus wrapped it in the clothe it was sitting on in the box and then slipped it into his bag.

The cloak was the last remaining item. It was folded neatly and Justus was amazed how light the fabric seemed as he unfolded it and held it out to look at it. The sun glistened off the green fabric, which was the most unusual Justus had ever seen. The neck was connected with a simple oval silver pendant with a green gem in the center. The cloak was by far the nicest piece of clothing he had ever held, let alone worn. He hung the cloak on a branch of the oak tree and unfastened his old cloak. Justus folded the well-worn cloak and placed it in the carved box. He then unfastened the silver pendant and swung the cloak over his shoulders and fastened the pendant.

Not sure what to do with the carved wooden box at his feet, Just picked it up and carefully slid it back into the hole in the tree. Now he could begin his journey to Mount Alabaster and Grand Eastern Ocean, or did he a have few minutes to spare. It had been months since he last saw his parents, and now they were so close by. Perhaps he should pop over for a visit, after all that is what a good son would do.

But there was a nagging feeling in his heart that told Justus that if he delayed his journey now he would never begin. With great reluctance and a heavy heart Justus began to move eastward along the main east-west road of the country and away from his parents.

The first two days of his journey were of no account. Villages were constantly on the horizon, other travelers were going alongside of him, and civilization made the way relatively safe. It wasn’t until that third day when he realized that he had traveled further east than he had ever been and began to reflect upon the events that led him to the journey that Justus realized the danger he was in.

At first Justus thought it was just one wolf, but then he noticed another. Before long there were wolves, jackals, and coyotes already him, eying him for supper. Fear had crept into his heart and Justus had to fight the urge to run with every bit of strength that he had. As the deadly predators closed around him he whispered, “Help me.”

Through his fear-clouded mind Justus began to remember a time when he was traveling with the Prince and the other disciples. A mob from a nearby village came out and surrounded the travelers. They did not want the traveling Teacher coming to their village and teaching them they were wrong in how they lived their lives. The mob meant to rid the countryside of this troublemaking Teacher, and armed with clubs and swords they moved in for the kill. While the disciples wanted to run the Prince held his ground and began to sing. This caught the disciples off guard for they had never heard him sing before and it was the most beautiful song they had ever heard. Their fear left them and they stood with courage behind their Master.

The song not only affected the disciples, but it also had an effect on the mob. They laid down their weapons, sat down, and began to fall asleep. Soon there were 50 strong men sleeping like babies on the ground around the road.

“Remember,” the Prince said, “music always has an effect on the heart. It can make the strong man cry, give courage to the coward, and make love appear where only hate existed before.”

Reaching into his bag Justus pulled out the tiny containing the flute. As quickly, yet carefully, as he could he took out the flute, unwrapped it, and began to play. At first it was difficult because he was still uncertain, but as he heard the sound of music a rhythm began to develop in his heart and he let it carry him as played. With his eyes closed Justus played and played until he was out of breath.

His eyes opened to a stunning sight. No more was he surrounded by vicious predators but by boys and young teens who were seated on the ground in front of him.

“Thank you,” said one of the teenagers as he stood up, he appeared to be the oldest and most likely the leader of the group.

“Where did all the animals go?” Justus asked.

“Don’t you understand?” The teen responded. “We were the animals stalking you. Long ago a witch roamed the countryside. She was a bitter old woman and hated to see anyone having fun. One day she caught us playing tag in the forest and she put a curse on us to wander the wild and frightening people. Somehow with your song you have saved us.”

Justus began to realize that there was a great power behind the gift the Prince had given him. “No my friends, it was not I who saved you. You were saved by The King, the Majestic, who reigns across the Eastern Ocean through the power of His Son the Great Prince. They are the ones who deserve your praise, not I.”

“What are we to do now? Our families and friends are long gone?” asked one of the younger looking boys. The others murmured in agreement.

“Return to you village and tell them your story. Tell everyone you meet about the compassion of the Majestic King so everyone might worship Him.”

Slowly the boys got up and began a journey northward. “Thank you,” They called back.

“Remember,” Justus shouted, “Tell your story.”

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