I was reading through one of the anecdotes Ravi Zach had illustrated in one of his books.I thought it was relevant to these times and our life.
The anecdote goes...
A boy lived in a village with a family who were said to be his gaurdian.He has a perpetual question in his mind-'Who am I?'.This question disturbed him a lot because nobody seemed to have an answer for him.
One day a messenger comes to him and tells him that he would have his answer provided he embarked on a journey and followed the rules.
The boy was given a sword,a map and some food and was given some conditions with it.
He could not draw blood with the sword,he could not waste the food and he had to follow the map to the tee.
As he embarked on his journey,he heard frightening sounds along the way and some beautiful music as well.
He drew his sword whenever he was frightened and when he heard the beautiful music he was drawn towards it but since it did not fall in line with his map he held himself back.
Every morning he would sit with his map and read it so that he could follow it.
Suddenly he saw a man stand before him with a sword who attacked him.He noticed that the sword had blood on it's tip.The stranger overpowered the boy and ran his sword through the boy but to his surprise the sword bent and could not hurt the boy.
As they were jostling the boy had the upper hand but he remembered the rule which said no blood so he withdrew his sword.
The map fell from the boy's pocket to the floor and the stranger rushed in to pick it up but to his dismay it was in a language which he could not read so he gave the map back to the boy.The boy realised that it was the map he had been after.
The boy went on his way and at the end of the road he saw a cottage .He knocked at the door which was opened by a women who scrutinised the boy carefully,looked at the birth-mark at his feet and hugged him.He turned out to be his mother.
The boy was overjoyed to be home and had a lot of questions but the mother said 'let us have the supper together and over it I will answer your questions one by one'.
The mother asked the boy if he had met a stranger on the way who had way-laid him.
The same stranger apparently had killed his father who had been on his way to get the boy.Because the stranger had broken the rule and shed the blood he had lost his way home.He had a sword with him that did not cut and even when the map fell into his hands he could not decipher it.
Was there anyway the stranger could have made it home?
There certainly was but he wanted to go it alone.
He just had to follow the person with the map.
I was reading this anecdote and was wondering where I fit in .
I realised it was the story of our lives.I could be the stranger and I could be the boy.
Have I shed blood ,have I broken the rules?
I do it all the time in thought and deeds...for christ says-'You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment.'Mathew 5,vs21,22.
Infact,one of the most pertinant question the Lord is going to ask most of us when we meet him would I guess be-'Where is your brother?'as he did to Cain.
This sure looks like a dead-end indeed.But the Hope in Christ is that we stand by his Grace and not by works.
As Martin Luther puts it in his commentary on Galations-
'When the conscience is disturbed, do not seek advice from reason or from the Law, but rest your conscience in the grace of God and in His Word, and proceed as if you had never heard of the Law. The Law has its place and its own good time. While Moses was in the mountain where he talked with God face to face, he had no law, he made no law, he administered no law. But when he came down from the mountain, he was a lawgiver.
'The conscience must be kept above the Law, the body under the Law'.
As Paul says in philipians -'..Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus..'