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The Old Man.

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In a simple land a young man grew up.  All his life he had heard whispers of a man.  It was said this man sat on a hill and held secrets to something better.  But no one of the young man’s people could or would tell him more.  They rarely spoke of the man on the hill.  But when they did speak of him it was with hushed tones and wide eyes.  Then all who heard would laugh that nervous laugh and turn the subject to things that “mattered” here.

One day, while the young man was working in his field, he thought of the whispers and nervous laughs.  He pondered that this man on a hill should shake his people so.  He looked to the surrounding hills and wondered if the stories were true.  Then, he threw down his rake and turned to go into the village.

When he arrived in the village he looked up the elders.  They were gathered in the coffee shop, as was their usual place of the day.  He drew up a chair near to them, for it is right to give respect to the knowledge and standing of such men.  One of the elders asked, “What can we do for you today”?   “I’ve come to ask you about the man on the hill”, the young man said with a reverant voice.  “Can you tell me where this hill can be found?”  The elders looked at each other and gave a knowing smile.  Then, the elder who had addressed the young man spoke.

“Why do you want to know about such fables?”  The young man simply replied, “I was pondering the hushed tones we use when we speak of him.  I wondered if there was any truth to the story”.  “There is some indication of truth to the story of the old man on the hill”, the elder admitted.  “I hear the hill is south and 21 days walk”.  The young man looked at the floor and gave it a thought for a moment.  Then looking up at his admiration, he said, “I thank you for your time.  You have helped me to think of these things rightly.  21 days is a long time to venture after something that might not even be true.”  “You’re welcome.  You have a great day now.  We’re a bit busy with the village’s problems.  So if you’ll excuse us, we’ll be about our business.”

The young man went home and packed a large supply of food and clothing.  He had determined to seek out this fable.  At least when he had searched more than others he would be able to make a wise statement regarding this fable.  When he was packed, he set out.

21 days of stumbling, searching, recovering his tracks only to recover again were past.  There before him was a sharp hill.  And on the hill sat an old man all alone.  Joy filled the young man’s heart.  “Is this the man they speak of?  It must be!  There is truth to our fable after all!”

He ascended the hill and approached the old man.  The eyes of age had watched the young man clamor with his load.  And now he stood before a fable.  “Good evening”, said the old man.  “What brings you here”?  With a dry tongue, the young man said, “I was told you held secrets that could help us live better in our conditions”.  Now what the young man expected is hard to say.  Even his own mind couldn’t form sense of his expectations.  But what he heard did not fit what he thought he’d hear.

He saw the old man think.  He watched him sit silently.  So the young man sat at the old man’s feet and waited.  As the old man was looking down, he began to speak.  “Why do you sit at my feet and ask of things like this?  You came all this way to ask of me what I do not have.”  Void, is the best description of what was going through the young man’s mind when he heard that.  “I came all this way and found what was whispered, only to hear he has nothing to offer?”

Then the old man continued with a soft voice.  “You sit at my feet as if I have something to give you.  I am just like you.  Yet there is something.”  The old man made a gesture round about with his hand.  “It’s right there.”  The old man whispered.   He picked up a blade of grass and pointed to the blade.  “It’s right there”.  He pointed to the sky.  “It’s right there”.   He struck the ground with speed and finality.  “It’s right there”.  Then, with a bony finger, the old man poked the chest of the young man.  “It’s right there.”  Then, as if to conclude, the old man spoke with an astounding force.  “You came to me to find what I do not have.  It is not given to men to own what you’re looking for.  You’re looking for help to make better the world around you and to profit by what you think I hold.  Now listen to me and leave my presence, for you seek help from a mere man.”  Then with even a louder voice he yelled, “His name is Jesus!”  Call on what you can not see.  Speak with He who is more than all!  It is He you were hearing about all these years!  Go!  I have told you all you need to know!”  Surprised at the force of the old man, the young man jumped to his feet and scurried down the hill.

We seek as men.  We ponder what is greater.  We look to men for that’s all we know.  Many will venture to ask of men that they might find guidance toward heaven and what is better.  And foolish men will presume to be the doorway to that which is better.  Yet a wise man, an old man, will point with great force to the One who is best. 

By His Grace.


Written by buttermilk80

January 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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