(For this week, enjoy a homemade story :-))
The Master watched pensively as the new recruit, Derrik, took his mark. He was skilled with a sword in battle and had just moved to their village. He had been accepted by the regime. But the Commander noticed a few old habits Derrik still held.
After Derrik’s impressive mock fight with a few trainers, the Commander called him over. “Yes, my lord.” Derrik’s brown-haired head dipped in respect.
“Derrik, your strength and skill in combat is supreme. I commend you. However, there is one aspect I must address.”Derrik lifted his eyes, “I am eager to learn.”
The Master motioned with a slight smile and said, “You may want to have a seat, this teaching method is a little different.” The knight complied and slid to his knees, his armor clanking, and his wide sword across his lap. The Master cleared his throat and began.
“There once was an incredible city. Its majesty was known throughout the land. It had elegant gardens, extensive libraries, and breath-taking palaces. The city was complex and fascinating. The king of the country was so pleased with this city that he posted soldiers outside its walls to protect and serve it.
“But tragically, some of the soldiers ignored their orders. They abandoned the city and cared nothing of its needs. Instead, they went on quests for their own valor. The city suffered quite greatly. ”
Derrik nodded, “That’s a shame, sir.”
The Master’s eyes grew sad, “Yes, this happened within our own borders.”
“What?” Derrik’s hands turned into gloved fists. “It really happened? Those traitors!” He spat, “Those soldiers deserve to die! No one should get away with disobeying an order!”
The Master leaned forward with a pointed finger. “Derrik, you are one of those soldiers.”
That stopped him. “What?”
“You were commanded to protect and serve something, and you dishonored my wishes.”
Derrik was shocked, “Forgive me, but what have I done to displease you?”
Suddenly, a young male servant came up to the kneeling solider, interrupting the lesson and informing the knight he was needed in the training fields. Derrik shot the boy an irritated look. “Can’t you see I’m talking with the Master? Do not bother me!”
The servant winced and uttered a hurried apology as he left. The Master sighed, “See, that is what you’ve done to displease me.”
Derrik was shocked again. “Surely you jest, sir! He is a lowly servant boy.” The Master’s eyes grew warmer. “To me, he is not merely a servant boy. He is my beloved child, as are you.
“You have a brave spirit and are willing to go to the ends of the world for the sake of the kingdom. But when it comes to loving the individual, you have displeased me.
“Valor is an easy thing to fight for. Virtue in humble things is a challenge.”
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
Copyright 2011 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.