The Angel of Character
My son and I sat in our shelter as the wind began to blow again. Outside we had stoked our fire to help warm our winter refuge. There was little to do out in the cold but collect firewood and shovel snow. I was absolutely ready for winter to be over so we could continue our travels to find our destiny.
One early evening as Joshua read his black book and I sat bored to death leaning against our pile of firewood, we heard rustling in the bushes nearby. At first we thought it was just a squirrel or small animal rummaging for food.
Since I was bored anyway, I told Joshua that I would investigate the persistent noise. I crawled out of the shelter, stood up and then looked around. I didn’t see an animal but over on the main trail that is used by animals and people alike, I heard some movement.
As I turned to look down the trail, I was run over from behind by someone doing his best to walk in two feet of snow without snow shoes. He knocked me down face foot into the snow.
The stranger kindly pulled me back up on my feet and apologized. I brushed the snow from my eyes and I said, “Well, hello, stranger…Heard you coming from way down the trail. I thought maybe you were a bear or possum or something.”
The stranger responded, “Hello, yourself. I’m glad you didn’t shoot me for food or something.”
I said, “I don’t even have a gun….By the way, I’m Dniknam and my son, Joshua, and I are on the journey to find our destiny and purpose…How bout you?”
“Me…I’mmm….Let’s see, I…” He mumbled to himself, “What lie can I tell this guy?” Then he continued out loud, “I’m a traveling salesman…I sell people purpose and destiny.”
I looked at him and walked around him and he wasn’t carrying anything but a small briefcase. I thought, “How could this guy be selling something when he isn’t carrying anything?”
He said, “Do you live around here?...I’m kind of…hungry …and it’s cold our here in the snow?”
“Excuse my lack of hospitality. We have a shelter from the storm just over here. We might have a little food for a hungry stranger. Which way are you heading on the trail, anyway?”
“I’m going……back…really in circles…I mean which way do you want me to go?”
“Follow me…My son is reading in our shelter over here.”
The two of us followed the path I made in the snow back to our lean-to. When we got there I said, “Here it is…home sweet home for a while…We will be heading out very soon. We were told to wait this storm out then we will begin our journey again.”
As the stranger and I talked, Joshua heard us and came out into the snow, carrying his black book.
The stranger spoke, “Howdy, I understand you are Joshua…I’m Going Back…my name is Going Back.”
Joshua looked at him with a strange look and then spoke, “How do you do Mr. Going Back. We are going forward to find our destiny…my Dad and I.”
“That’s what I understand….We need to talk more when we get inside….But first…can we eat? I’m so hungry.”
I said, “OK, let’s go inside, ….Going.”
Going and I crawled into the shelter while Joshua stoked the fire outside. I sat near the door and felt the warmth of the fire as it radiated toward the shelter.
Finally Joshua climbed back inside the shelter and closed the door, while Going and I talked. I asked Going, “Pardon me asking this…but how did you get your name, Going?”
Going responded, “It’s a very long story….but the short answer is……my Dad’s name is Coming….. and Mom’s is Go so there was only one choice for me…Going.”
“OK, you said you knew some stuff about destiny or you know an easy way to get to our destiny?”
“Yea, I’m just now coming back from the lonely trial to destiny. I’ve helped many people get on the right track by sending them back……for a price.”
“What do you mean? There is an easy way to destiny? So far, we have not had it easy.”
“The easiest way to get to your destiny is ……Going Back.”
Joshua listened intently to our conversation. He looked like he was not impressed by what Going Back had to say. Then Joshua inserted, “Going Back, what is your advice for us? We sit here in the wilderness not even halfway to our destiny. What is your personal advice for my dad and me?”
“My advice…for…you two…Let me think…first we need to draw up a contract and then I will tell you my expert opinion.” Going Back whispered to himself as he dug inside is case, “Which one should I use to screw…I mean serve these two fools?”
Joshua asked, “Why do we need a contract….For what?”
Going Back pulled out a long piece of paper from his case. Then he answered, “Because my accountant said……” To himself he said, “What lie should I use…This guy seem like a smart alert young man…I need a really good lie…..Think, Going, think.”
I asked Going, “You started to tell us why we had to have a contract….Why do we need to sign a piece of paper?”
“A…A….Do you want to get to your destiny? Are you tired of sitting here in a crazy lean-to, cold and hungry?…Speaking of hungry.”
Embarrassed, Joshua reached into the basket of food and quickly fixed Going Back something to eat. As the stranger devoured his food, Joshua was contemplating how to react to what this wanderer had to say.
My son asked the stranger, “Going Back, where were you headed when my dad met you?
With his mouth full of food, Going answered, “I…I…I’m heading back….My boss needs me back in the real world for a while. I’ve been wandering around helping people…..(to go back)…Helping people.”
Joshua asked, “So you are going back and we are going forward and you are telling us we are going the wrong direction? Is that …”
Going Back interrupted, “I…I’m not exactly going back…I’m helping people find their purpose…You know, like you are searching for your purpose. A lot of people are….A guy can make good money doing my job.”
“Have you ever prayed?” Joshua asked.
“Pray…What is that? Is that a game or a computer program?”
“Going Back, have you ever talked to an angel?”
“I believe in ghost. Does that count?”
I was losing track of the conversation so I sat there wondering why my son was asking these questions and I didn’t comprehend the answers Joshua received. But I wondered if this Going Back guy was on to something. I would love to find my destiny but it was really hard, so far.
Joshua asked Going Back, “OK, Tell me again about this contract thing you are talking about. What are you going to do for me, and what do I have to give to you? Have you ever hear of Character? Do you know what or who it is?”
“Are you calling me a liar and a cheat?”
“No, I’m asking you if you are good man. Are you a man that is above reproach? Take my Dad for example. What he says he does with no questions asked. He’s a man of character. I just have this feeling…if I sign this contract you have in your hand…You will not fulfill your promise. We are searching to find our destiny. We do not want to run in circles like you are doing. The angel told us you would come to see us.”
“That angel is at it again…I mean what angel?”
I was astonished with the wisdom my young son was using in this dialogue. This traveling salesman was a shyster. He doesn’t realize we don’t even have any money to pay him even if we wanted to.
The three of us sat in silence for several minutes not knowing how to end this discussion when something or someone walked into the shelter. We were all awed by a bright light that shone in the corner of the tent. Then a voice came from the light. It announced, “Dniknam, Joshua, and Going Back, greetings. I am Character. God sent me. Joshua, thank you for asking for me to come. This is my specialty. As for you, Going Back, you haven’t learned your lesson, yet? Why don’t you just go back and quit trying to get humble people like these two, to make a foolish mistake like you are doing?”
When the angel had finished speaking, Going Back disappeared.
My mouth dropped wide open and I looked around the shelter. I thought to myself, “Where did that guy go? He was an illusion?”
Joshua, as if he could read my thoughts said, “He was an illusion and because we have character and we are truly looking to find our purpose, he didn’t have a chance to change our focus. This was a trial…a test….Character himself came by to help us, as well. We are privileged individuals and the one true God wants us to find our destiny. I’m not saying this will not happen again….”
I interrupted, “But God wanted to see if we would pass the test…and we did.”
“Yes, we did, Dad. Yes, we did.”