This text is an edited version of an extract taken from my book the Road to Freedom.
This is a story about a man, who during his conversations with God asked for the gift of understanding himself in order to be able to take a step further in life and come closer to God. God told him to go to his mountain and wait there. He promised to send messengers that would bear the gifts of knowledge that would help the man on his journey.
The man went to his mountain and found a comfortable place to be, eager and full of expectation he began his vigil. When the sun was high in the sky he saw a young boy that came walking around the bend of the pathway. His clothes were in tatters and the manner in which he walked indicated that he was a street boy. The man became irritated hoping within that the boy would not stop; he did not have time for the likes of him.
The boy cheerfully asked if the man had some water to offer in order that he might quench his thirst, but the man answered:
– Be on your way, I have nothing to spare. Disheartened the boy walked away.
As the evening approached a cold wind began to blow across the mountain, and the man went to his shelter to prepare an evening meal. Suddenly he felt a presence, and as he looked over his shoulder there was an old woman standing behind him.
–Excuse me, the woman said, I am lost and it is getting late, could I please havefood and shelter for the night?
– No, be on your way. I am waiting for an important messenger, the man replied.
In silence the woman walked out into the night.
The following day as dawn appeared, with new strength the man sat down to continue his vigil. As he cast his eye on the mountain path he could see a group of people that appeared to be dignitaries climbing the pathway of his mountain.
– Oh, finally they have arrived; he exclaimed and quickly ran to meet the important messengers. But they just passed him by and did not even see him.
For as long as the man lived he sat on his mountain and waited, and the same thing happened over and over again. Many of the messengers he sent away and those who he considered important continued to ignore his presence. Finally he was to die on his mountain and when he came to heaven he said to God:
– You broke your promise.
– I kept my promise, God answered, but you sent the messengers away. The ones your ego thought were important did not even acknowledge you. You rejected what each messenger had to offer, because you had preconceived ideas about what your life should look like. You were filled with your own expectations, your ego was in control, but I never gave up, I continued to send messengers. The gifts they had to offer are lying here, still unopened.
Possibilities and opportunities often present themselves, without demands or conditions, ready to be used, explored and shaped – but the responsibility always lies with the individual. How often have I been blind and deaf to what is around me, because of my own expectations? How often have I dismissed the messengers and the gifts they had to offer? In acceptance these gifts would have helped me open my heart and my mind, and assisted me on my journey.
I think I am learning and beginning to realise what a wonderful resource the here and now can offer. I continue to meet these messengers, and hopefully I am learning to accept the gifts they have to offer.
The God I understand speaks through the actions and words of the ordinary everyday people, because in Gods eyes everything is equal, and within his band of messengers there are no so called dignitaries, just people going about their lives and doing their best. Within his band there is no elitism, just different people with different kinds of intelligence and skills. It can certainly be difficult to make decisions based on who we meet and what they have to offer, but the choice is always ours and I believe it is worth taking the risk.
My experience is that change never comes in the way our ego demands. I have always received my most important lessons from the mistakes I have made. The problem is that it might be painful to realise that you have made a mistake, but can the mistakes not be our greatest teachers?