JT had been finding so many people who acted in ways that he did not want to be like. He had found a few he wanted to be like and was glad to learn from their lessons.
A little further down the road he found 2 walls, one on each side of the road. They were close to the road and at one spot there was a big barred gate for each of them. He could see towns behind each of them. Further down the road, just beyond the wall, was a very small settlement.
The big walls and barred gates did not look too inviting so he traveled on down the road to the little town.
He found a man working at an anvil making horseshoes. “Clang, clang” went his hammer on the anvil. JT walked up to him and waited until he stopped working so he could talk to him.
The man stopped, looked at him and asked, “what can I do for you, young man?” His smile and friendly eyes encouraged JT to be forthright about his concerns. “I just passed those two large walls and gates, why are they there?”
“Well,” the man replied with a sigh, “the ones on the east came from the east a long time ago and settled here. They all dressed similarly, ate the same kinds of food and made the same kind of wares for the market.’ Then gesturing to the other wall he continued, “those ones came from the west and had their own clothing, ways and foods. They also made the same kinds of things for the market. They seems to be the same except, one of them always tied their robes to the right, and the others tied their robes to the left. Each of them seemed to think their way was better and the other people were stupid for not changing their ways to their way. “
They did not trust each other and so they raised a wall so that they did not have to deal with the other people they will even fight now and then. I think they believe they are enemies.
JT asked, “don’t you belong to one of those groups?” “I used to, but then I thought, why should I think those people are my enemy, I don’t even know them, and so I moved to this little town. A few people from each town did that, and so we are here.
It is easy to be kind and friendly to those who agree with you, but what about those who don’t?”
Just then a group of armed men came from one of the gates and came towards the small blacksmith shop where JT stood. “ You there,” one called out to JT, “are you with us or them?” He pointed at the other gate, the one opposite theirs.
“I am with neither.” JT replied.
“You have to choose, you are either our friend or our enemy’” The man bristled and tapped his foot impatiently.
“I am your friend until you do something that would make you my enemy,” JT said.
“I see you don’t tie your robe to the right or the left, you just put it over your head and tie it around the middle. That is silly, everyone knows you have to tie it to the right.” The man said with exasperation.
“You can tie your robe anyway you like, it does not make me your enemy.” JT replied quietly.
“Either tie your robe the right way, or leave right now before I throw you into jail.” He menacingly came towards JT, until the blacksmith intervened. “He is in neutral territory here, leave him alone.”
“You will have a make a decision soon yourself, or we will have to arrest everyone in this town who acts like you, defiant to the right way of doing things.”
JT shook his head and waved to the blacksmith, “You should not have to fight for me, I will leave.”
He gathered up his belongings and shaking the dust off his robe, which had clung to his robe ever since the soldiers had arrived quickly in a dust cloud, and continued on his trek.
QOTD: What scripture does this illustrate?
Being Christian during Christmas is easy, what about the rest of the year?
The answer to last weeks’ story: Jesus Trek – 6 – The Man by the side of the road (Luke 10: 25 – 37)
To read the introduction to this story series please click HERE