There were two of us, walking up a steep hill, along a dusty road. We had been walking for what seemed to be a long, long time, and this part of our journey seemed to be hard work, we are tired.
My name is Mr. Walker, and my friends name is Mr. Tryer. There are many other Walkers, and many other Tryers on the same journey.
We didn’t start this journey together, no; we meet along the road. There are a lot of others on the road, masses of people, all ages, and all nationalities. All types of people, all individuals, but all with shared experiences.
The road leads to a place we all want to reach, a place like no other. This place will be worth the long and at times wearisome walk. This place is our destination, it is where we want to be.
Mr. Tryer points out that we are not at the front of the crowd, and that in fact he can see miles up the road, well into the horizon, that there are many, many people in front of us.
For my part, I point out that there are also many in our group, and a fair few behind us, also stretching a long way back.
The road we are on has on many occasions been narrow, and full of stones, pot holes, slippery mud, but we have managed to struggle along. As we chat, we remember the times that each of us have wandered off this road to our destination. Yes, both of us remember those times we found a fork in the road, another road that appeared to be more attractive, looked like an easier road to walk for a while. We look at each other knowingly, and nod. Yes, we don’t even have to express the thought; we both shudder as we remember how those roads caused us nothing but hurt, and how those roads were leading us away from our destination.
Mr. Tryer asks if we can stop for a while, and sit down. Well, I think that’s a good idea, we can sit for a breather, and get our strength back. Others are passing us by now, some look at us, and go "tut, tut, you guys will end up at the back of the group if you sit down there"
They are right of course; we will fall further behind, maybe even end up right at the very back! We are told that there are those who stride with vigour right at the front of the line of people, and we see some like them marching past everyone in our group. Wow, we are full of admiration for these folk; they are super fit, and well trained in walking this road.
Mr. Tryer comments that he wished he could march, even run, as they are doing. Yes, I think the same thing, how I wished I had trained harder for this walk. He is very tired, and says he doesn’t feel he can continue for now, in fact maybe he will never be able to complete the journey.
It crosses my mind that maybe I feel a second wind coming, and maybe I could lift Mr. Tryer onto my shoulders for a little way. Yes, that would be good, as I do like Mr. Tryer, he has been good company for many miles now. So, I lift him up, and put my arm under his, and though he feels just a little embarrassed, he thanks me.
Some walking by us say, "you don’t want to do that! No, you want to leave him and catch up with those in front of you" Yes, it had crossed my mind, that I will struggle now, more than I had already, and I am just a little worried that Mr. Tryer will stop me reaching my destination. Though this thought crossed my mind, I know Mr. Tryer is not a lacking passion; he is simply tired, feeling the strain of the journey.
Ouch! Someone screams at us, it made us jump! It is a comrade on this journey, he is neither at the front, nor the back of the crowd, and he is running up and down them shouting. He seems very angry with us all, that we are not marching, as he is able. His name is Mr. Pusher He wants to make a note of our names, in a little note book he has (He apparently made notes before, when Mr. Tryer, and myself had wandered onto different paths). We give our names, and wander what on earth he will do with them. "OK Walker, and you Tryer, I have made a note of your names, as I have before, and I will report your lack of effort to those responsible for keeping the gate at the destination. You will find you might just be kept out now, as I can tell you, the King of the destination, and the gate master do not want those like you to be allowed in".
Mr. Tryer looks at me, he seems defeated. "Well, that’s it then, we might as well lie down and give up now" He has a point, maybe this Mr. Pusher will indeed have us stopped from arriving at our destination. Maybe he speaks on behalf of the King? Maybe he knows the gate master well?
Another comes along side us, a Mrs. Helper, and tells us not to worry, she had overheard Mr. Pusher, and she says he has no authority to speak as he had done. She explains that we had an invitation to take part in this journey, and that the King had requested our company at the destination. She offers us a drink of water, and goes on her way, that water sure helped!
We notice that Mr. Pusher has found someone else to shout at, so we try to move away from him, and I have to admit I am pleased somewhat that he is shouting at someone else, not us (but then felt bad, as that was a bit cowardly, and rather selfish).
We had been making some progress, and Mr. Tryer was now able to walk for himself, and he thanked me for carrying him as I had for a while. It had been a pleasure to be honest, as I think he must have forgotten the time he had done the same for me. In fact, I reminded him, and he laughed, "oh yes, so I did, I had forgotten".
We continued for a while, thinking about how far we had travelled, and I think we maybe were both a little concerned about Mr. Pushers comments still.
"Mr. Walker, do you remember the time we had that argument, with Mrs. Grump?" Yes, I could indeed; it had been such a bad experience. She had observed that Mr. Tryer and I were not dressed in the right clothing for our journey; well that’s what she said anyway.
To be honest, we were quite comfortable in our attire, and we didn’t feel it had caused us any problems. Mrs. Grump on the other hand, she said we would not be allowed past the gate keeper when we arrived at the destination, as this clothing we had on was most unsuitable. In fact, I had noticed a lot of others dressed as we were, so took some comfort in that, but again, it had caused both Mr. Tryer and me to feel unsure of how we would be received at the gate. Mrs. Grump had said that our clothing was most important, and that if we were not dressed properly it would stop others wanting to walk with us.
There had been quite a few instances like that, there was Mr. Knowledge, Mrs. Clever, Mr. Better – Than (love those double barrelled names). These folks were great marchers, and they never had a problem knowing the way towards the destination. No, and they never seemed to grow weary either. Maybe they were superhuman!!
They had all pulled us over, and given us a good talking to, some of it actually was helpful, and some just made us feel like we shouldn’t be on this journey. No doubt that was our problem, maybe we were not good enough to walk the same road as they.
We had gone over the brow of the hill now, and had hoped for a nice easy decent down the other side, and yes, the road did indeed run back down. Trouble was that the road had lots of Mr. Pushers, with a few Mr. Pokers waiting at the bottom (the poker clan are very similar to the Pushers, but are generally more aggressive). They seemed very annoyed that there were so many of us not moving quickly enough. Oh dear, this was something we didn’t want to go through again. We noted Mr. and Mrs. Legal there, watching over the Pokers and Pushers. Yet another couple, Mr. and Mrs. Trad were there, they were best friends with the Legals. These are few, but are known to be very concerned about how every one is doing on their walk. It had often occurred to me that I never knew that we had to deal with these people on the journey. There must be a good reason for them though, they seem to know the right way to get to the destination.
"Maybe we should take this side road?" I said to Mr, Tryer. "No, not this time my friend", he replied, we have to keep going, otherwise we have gone this far in vain".
He was right of course, we had to just go through the shouting again, the prodding, the poking, the loud criticism. We would get lost in the crowd again eventually, so for now, we would suffer it.
As we reached the bottom of the slope, the Pushers, and the Pokers pulled us aside. The Legals, and the Trads felt we should not go any further, as this path was their path.
Was it? We were amazed, as no one had ever said that this would happen. No, we had been told at the start of the journey that only the owner of our destination, the King, and the one who had the keys to the gate had ownership of the road to the destination. There were some onlookers; they are Mr. and Mrs Offended, and Mr. and a whole family of Onthefences. Not a lot of difference between these clans, they either sigh and shake their heads, or find a comfortable place to sit, thankful that they are not being noticed by the Pushers and Pokers.
We agreed to drop back, and wait a while, whilst others who seemed more acceptable were allowed to continue on their way.
Some time passed, and I noticed Mr. Tryer was now crying, just a whimper at first, but then in loud wails. He was beside himself, that we might never be allowed to continue our journey. So, I went and asked the Legals, and the Trads if it would be ok for us to continue, that we would be allowed to proceed IF we do as the Pushers and Pokers told us. We would march, as they did, and even learn how to shout at others as they did.
We asked if maybe we could just walk at our own pace, and let others do the same.
No, that was not good enough, and we were turned away. Mr. Tryer was even more upset now, as he didn’t ever want to be a Pusher or a Poker, no he was happy to be a Tryer, had been all his life, why change now? He was also disappointed in me, that I would ever even consider their demands to be that way. He asked why he had to be someone he was not, just to be acceptable to them.
"They are NOT the owners of this road Mr. Walker, no they are NOT. I now they are not, because I remember the instructions I had when I started this journey, and there was no mention of these people being in charge, and they certainly were not the ones who invited me on this journey to the destination".
He was right of course; we had all been invited to take this journey to the destination by the King of the destination. He had sent this invite, and promised us that so long as we were not too late in arriving; the gate keeper would unlock the gate for us. In fact, He had told us all were welcome, so long as we had kept on the path. Even if we were the last to arrive, we would be allowed in. So, we waited, not sure how we could proceed with all that stood in our way.
Just as I was pondering on this, I realised that there were no more people around us, and that Mr. Tryer had fallen asleep.
Then the gate keeper appeared next to me, like magic. Took my breath away to be honest, as I had not thought that he would ever leave the gate, to come and meet us on the path.
He had a kind face, and was very softly spoken. He assured me that Mr. Tryer would wake up one day, and would not be left asleep on the road. He lifted Mr. Tryer up, and carried him, asking me to also hold his hand. What if the Pushers and the Pokers tell us that we cannot proceed? I thought, and the Trads and Legals cause a fuss?
The Gate keeper seemed to know my thoughts, and he turned to me.
"The King alone owns this road my friend, and I have been given authority by the King to not only keep the gate, but to come onto this path with people like you. The Legals, and the Trads, the Pushers, and the Pokers, I know them well. They once caused my journey to the destination to be very hard, they not only shouted at me, they also beat me, and eventually put me into a deep sleep. The King had promised me though, He had promised that I had walked the road enough, and that I would be the gatekeeper. He said that I would help others, like you, to finish your journey. All you have to do is call, and I will come and carry you a while, because I can carry you without getting weary.
"What about Mr. Tryer? Will he enter through the gates now?" I asked.
"He is coming with me now" the gate keeper replied, "as his journey has come to an end, and I am able to take him to the gates, and place him there with many of his kind, where they will stay asleep until all the other Tryers arrive"
His last words to me, before he left with Mr. Tryer were, "Be like Mr. Tryer, and remember this Mr. Walker, I am able to help you on this road whenever you need it, and if you do fall on this road, like Mr. Tryer, I will come and fetch you, because I did complete the journey, and the King has given me the authority to fetch those who whilst being on the road have not managed to find enough strength within themselves to make it on their own to the destination.
Take no heed of the Legals, and the Trads, ignore the Pushers, and the Pokers, they might find they get to the destination only to be denied entry. They should have read the invite, they only have to read it again, and it makes it clear that only I hold the keys, and only I decide who can enter through the gates.
If they remember my journey, they will see that their own fitness is not what is required, and maybe, just maybe, they might realise that one day"
The Journey for me is continuing, and I have met a few more Mr. Tryers, and a lot of other Walkers. We seem to have a common purpose, to walk the road at our own pace, even at times crawling along. We can ignore the Legals, the Trads, the Pushers and Pokers (though would love for them to change their names to Walkers and Tryers).
May we all continue on our journey helping as many as we can to reach the destination. May we never forget that the journey is not just for us, it is for all who have been invited.
Love in Jesus, J.
ROM 8:27-32 "He who searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit's mind, because he makes intercession for the saints according to God. We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.Whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified. What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who didn't spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things?"
EPH 1:3-9 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire, to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely bestowed favor on us in the Beloved, in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him......... "
MT 7:1-5 "Don't judge, so that you won't be judged. For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you tell your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye;' and behold, the beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye."
MT 23:14 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you don't enter in yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering in to enter."
JAS 2:8-10 "However, if you fulfill the royal law, according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well. But if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he has become guilty of all."
JAS 2:12-17 "So speak, and so do, as men who are to be judged by a law of freedom. For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food, and one of you tells them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled;" and yet you didn't give them the things the body needs, what good is it? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself."
JN 15:12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you."
JAS 5:19-20 "Brothers, if any among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins."
HEB 2:14-17 "Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For most assuredly, not to angels does he give help, but he gives help to the seed of Abraham. Therefore he was obligated in all things to be made like his brothers, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people."
HEB 4:14-16 "Having then a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold tightly to our confession. For we don't have a high priest who can't be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need."
This page was last updated June 2004