“During two months of waiting, A. Soul and the Gardener camped near a beautiful lake.  They swam in the water and enjoyed the deer that came bouncing to the water’s edge.  They laughed at silly things and played as they competed to see who caused more ripples in the water when they threw stones into it.  The one thing they did not do, was talk about the journey ahead or behind.  They simply relaxed.

Early one morning, Soul told the Gardener, “I have made a decision and thought it over with care. My head says ‘go back’ but my heart is pulling me near. I have come this far, I will continue to go forward, until the Author I see, for this is my desired reward. Tell me plainly, this upward climb, will I make it with absolute certainty?”

The Gardener smiled inside and said, “My Soul, my brave but timid Soul, there is never any doubt. You will reach the top and it’s then you will shout; when you see the red cord the Author has secured you about. You never journey alone regardless of your route.”

Soul replied in a calm, even tone, “This is amazing, yet I know it is true. I feel His presence though I can’t see Him, I really do. Let’s move on, I’m excited to go. This is the right decision, that I know.”

They continued moving forward and slightly upward.  The terrain in front was the same as behind.  There was no change in sight, other than a slow elevation upward, making it more tiresome to walk.  After four months of the same routine and landscape, Soul cried out in frustration, “I have been walking and walking and walking with no change in sight. Walking and walking and walking, around and around even when there is no light. This is a long, long narrow and lonely trail. Please remind me that the Author is with me still. The same today as it was yesterday and tomorrow the same may be.

Nothing but walking, one step in front of another and more steps to take I see. Nothing behind remains and nothing ahead to break this monotony. Where am I going?  What is the purpose? Was there any deceit and dishonesty? My heart is empty, no goals and no destination. Just putting one foot before another, walking into obliteration. Could this be the Author’s plan? Where is this leading?” Soul screamed with demand. She crossed her arms, stomped her feet, and planted them in a warrior stance.

The Gardener, who held the map, tenderly looked at her and responded with empathy, “My impatient little Soul, take another looktoday. Yes you are walking, but in a very guided and purposeful way. Look around and you will see. The path you are on is leading upward and will enable you to surrender to all you want to be. ‘Come unto me and I will make you…’ the Author has said (Matt 4:19)How can He carry out His plan if you are making you instead?”

  1. Soul continued to ask in frustration, disregardingthe Gardener’s comments,“Will I ever get off this path?  Tell me what does it take? I must know as there is so much at stake. Surely not everything I am, my hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Why, these are my very foundations.”

The Gardener replied,“Courageous Soul, your thoughts are within range. It’s your very foundation that He seeks to change. This change is from the inside out. Only then can you know the Author without a shadow of doubt. Keep moving forward, He is very near. Even though it appears you are going nowhere. Think of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel and others who travelled far. It was only as they waited in surrender they became the leaders they are. You are on the right track mapped out especially for you. Keep moving forward, the Author is faithful and true. You are close to your destination, nearer than you think. It is very possible, you can reach it in another blink.”

  1. Soul looked at the Gardener as His words flooded through her weary soul providing strength for the journey ahead. From then on, she held on to Him with each step she made, resisting the temptation to bolt backward and flee away. They walked in silence for a few more days. She eventually lost track of time.  At some point along the way, her hands became too weak to hold on.  It was then the Gardener pulled a long red cord from one of His pockets, tied one end to His leg and the other end to her leg, as in a three-legged race, and He carried her forward with each step.

Eventually the landscape changed, and she found herself at the top of a majestic mountain.”

Reference:  Beyond Religion, “The Adventures of A. Soul, Volume 1,” W.A.Vega