The Parable of the Traveler


The Christian life has often been compared to a journey. While the concept of a Journey is not original, each person’s journey through life is unique. What you are about to hear is the story of my Journey from Mediocrity through Potential and the discovery of my Purpose on Destiny’s Summit. Although it is the story of my Journey, I know each of you will find yourselves at some point along the way. He who has ears let him hear the Parable of the Traveler.

Redemption from the Slave Market

I had just graduated from the university and it was time to suffer the same humiliation millions have before me – the Slave Market. In the City of Mediocrity, all citizens are required to stand on the blocks and give their lives to the highest bidder (in other lands they call this looking for a job). However, this “slave market” is different than you would imagine. There was an auctioneer and bidders and I was the prize, but I was the one who would determine my fate. There was no way I was going to take a job at Deadend Enterprises. As I was standing on the blocks listening to the auctioneer reading off my resume to the bidders, I heard a voice roar above the crowd: “Stop! She belongs to me! I’ve already paid the price for her!” When the auctioneer and the other bidders saw Who was speaking they immediately stopped the bidding. I shuddered. Who was that? He approached the platform, and to my surprise He looked familiar. Had I met Him before? I looked into His eyes and recognized Him, “Jesus?”

He said that it had been a long time. And it had! I used to spend a lot of time with Him, and I even at one point gave Him my heart and promised to follow Him, but as I got older other things became more important. Jesus reminded me of the promise I made to Him when I was just a little girl – that I would be a Traveler and journey on to Destiny’s Summit where I would discover God’s purpose for my life. I told Him that I did remember, but there were some other things I wanted to do now. He told me that Mediocrity would have me think that I must determine my own destiny. I agreed, but He said, if I tried I would always wonder if there was something more. He said there is no way for me to see what lies ahead. He said, “The truth is that destiny cannot be determined by the human mind—no matter how well informed it is. Destiny is something you must discover. God has a purpose for your life—far more than you could ever determine for yourself. And the only way for you to discover that purpose is to leave Mediocrity and explore Potential.”

Leave Mediocrity? I’ve lived in Mediocrity my whole life. I couldn’t imagine leaving and pursuing a life God planned. What about my dreams? What if He wanted me to do something I would hate? On the other hand, I always wondered if there was more to life than what I had been taught. At the University I majored in the Traditions of Men. I saw that the reason man does what he does is because that is the way it has always been done. It’s all a trap, isn’t it? We travel through life like rats through a maze. All of us struggle through the same maze. We are all born and we will all die, and in between we hope to leave a mark showing the world that we were here, but no one will remember. It scares me.

Jesus said, “Do you know that you are so special to me that I have you engraved on the palms of my hands? Think of how many times a day you look at your hands. That’s how often I think about you. When I see the holes pierced by the nails that held me to the cross, I am reminded that I did it all for you.” I said to Him that it must have been painful. And He said, “I don’t remember feeling pain. All I could see was your face as I died, and it was the anticipation of you saying ‘yes’ to my call that compelled me to break free from the bonds of death and rise from the grave. I gave everything to free you from the curse of Sin and Mediocrity and to set you on the path that will lead to Destiny. Will you follow me?”

I had tears in my eyes as I realized what He had done for me, and that He would not force me to follow Him. The choice was mine. His eyes were full of love. I looked at His hands and saw the nail prints. I always believed that Jesus died on the cross for sinners, but now I realized that the sinner Jesus died for was me. I said, “Yes, I will follow you. Where does the path begin? Is there a map?” He told me that there was no set path. My journey would be unlike anyone else’s. Rather than following a path, I would blaze a trail. All I was required to do was stay close to Him. He told me that there was no greater satisfaction than knowing that you’ve done the will of the Father. Then he asked if I was willing to obey. I said of course, and He said, “We shall see.” He warned me that the first part of the journey is very dangerous. Many don’t make it through. Then He took hold of my hand and told me to stay very close.

The Mall of Temptation.

Jesus and I walked hand in hand. There was a bend in the road, and as we rounded the corner I saw it! Road signs ablaze with neon beckoning to us. Even at a distance I could hear laughter and smell the delicious aromas of food—which reminded me that I hadn’t eaten. I asked Him, “What is this place?” He answered, “The Mall of Temptation.”

Jesus was in no hurry, and I couldn’t wait to get down there, but the harder I pulled away from Him the tighter He gripped my hand. “Come on! Let’s go!”

He stood firm, “Remember what I said. This is the Mall of Temptation, and although it may look appealing, it’s very dangerous. Stay close to me. I don’t want you to get lost.”

I didn’t even pay attention to what He said. I wanted to get down there. Somehow I managed to free myself from Jesus’ grip and ran wildly down the hill. I knew He’d catch up sooner or later. When I got to the mall I could have kicked myself. I didn’t have any money! So I just walked around and window-shopped.

There were tons of great shops and I was enjoying looking at everything, but I noticed something kind of strange. I asked one of the salesclerks why there weren’t any price tags. He said, “Oh, don’t worry. We’ll give you a good deal on anything you want to buy.”

Okay, that was strange. Whatever. I couldn’t figure out why was taking Jesus so long to get there. Oh well, He’s the Son of God. He’ll find me. I continued to explore the shops and soon found myself in the food court.

One of the food vendors beckoned to me and asked if I would like to try their specials. I explained that I didn’t have any money and was waiting for a friend. To my surprise, the food vendor explained, “Didn’t you know? You don’t need money at this mall. Here, let me fix you a plate. As soon as I reached for the plate someone knocked it out of my hand and grabbed my arm.

“Hey buddy! What do you think you’re doing? Get your own!” I was looking into the angry eyes of Jesus. Still holding onto my arm He pulled me away from the food court to a bench in the middle of the mall.

“Didn’t I tell you to stay close to me? Do you know what would have happened if I didn’t come just now?”

“Yeah! I would have gotten to eat lunch! I’m starving!”

“That food would never have satisfied your hunger, and besides, what we’re you going to use to pay for it?”

“I didn’t need any money. It was free.”

“It’s true, you don’t need money here, but nothing is free. The only currency they use here is blood, and the store clerks and vendors crave the blood of young Travelers and would have taken every drop.”

It was then that I remembered how the clerk laughed when I asked about the prices. Jesus said, “The price for giving into temptation is always blood, and you will always regret it. I’ve already given my body and blood to deliver you from temptation. Don’t forget that, or you’ll end up like them.”

Then I looked around and noticed the other shoppers for the first time. They were pale and sickly; they had no life in them. Jesus told me that all of these people were once Travelers. They each gave themselves to the Temptations of the Mall and were allowing themselves to be bled dry rather than continue on to Destiny’s Summit. They didn’t believe that what God had for them was better than what was before their eyes.

I began to see how dangerous this mall really was. Then Jesus gently lifted my face to His and looked me in the eye and said, “If you can’t obey you will never reach Destiny.” He told me that the things in this mall would only weigh me down and make the journey more difficult. He said, “If you obey, one of the greatest benefits is that you will never lack what you have need of.”

I told Him how sorry I was. I realized that He wasn’t trying to keep me from having fun, but He was protecting me from danger. We left the Mall and Jesus took me to a house that I later found out was owned by Mercy.

Mercy’s home was open for all Travelers. There I found comfort and rest and the best home cooking you can imagine!

I learned my lesson. I thought I was so grown up and ready to face the world, and I acted like a spoiled child. And all the time, Jesus had everything taken care of. I would have missed out on the blessing He had for me if I had given into Temptation. I determined in my heart right then and there that I would never demand my own way again. Jesus’ way was much better!

The Academy

The next morning, after breakfast, Jesus and I said goodbye to Mercy, and continued on our journey. Jesus told me that He was going to take me to a place where I would learn everything I needed to know about traveling through the land of Potential. He explained that the training program is rigorous, but necessary in order to complete the journey. When I asked Him how long it lasted, He told me that it depended on the Traveler. I was determined that my stay at this place would be short. I was eager to continue on and reach Destiny.

We stopped before a large gate with a sign over it in iron letters “The Academy”. Jesus rang the bell and a servant came running out of the large ornate brick mansion that stood on the other side of a beautiful garden. The servant let us in and the Master came to greet us. I was introduced to him and found out that his name is Patience. Jesus told me that He was leaving me here for a time, but would always know my progress, and if I needed Him for anything all I needed to do was call.

I wish I could say that my stay at this place had been short and pleasant. I attended classes everyday to learn the principles of traveling. I was warned of the terrain and the dangers that lie ahead, but I also learned that if I remained obedient there was no obstacle I could not overcome. I studied the journeys of other Travelers. I learned why some succeeded and some failed. And I learned about all the benefits of traveling.

We were put into teams and given work to do. I couldn’t believe some of the sorry saps that were put on my team. I wasn’t about to let these stragglers ruin my chances of getting out of the Academy early. I wanted to show Master Patience that I was ready to continue on my journey by proving that I was the best worker there. Then, one day, Master Patience called me into his office. I thought my golden day had arrived. Wrong!!!

Patience: Have a seat. {Traveler sits} I wanted you to know that I know how eager you are to graduate early. But I’ve had a few negative reports about you.

Traveler: What? How can that be?

Patience: It seems that the other members of your work team have unanimously voted to have you transferred to another team. No one wants to work with you.

Traveler: You’ve got to be kidding! I’m the best worker on that team. No one does as much as I do. They’re just jealous.

Patience: The fact is, that people are often at their worst when they’re trying to prove they are the best. The purpose of teamwork is to teach that true Travelers are not concerned fulfilling their own visions, but fulfilling the Father’s vision. In order to succeed you need to learn to lay down your own goals and ambitions and help the team fulfill theirs. You will see that as you dedicate yourself to the goals of the team, your own goals will also be met.

I left his office and cried bitter tears far into the night. Master Patience did not transfer me to another team. And throughout the next few weeks and months we all learned to lay aside our personal ambitions and work together. My stay there was longer and harder than anything I could have imagined. But even though it was hard, I would do it all over again if I had to. I learned so much about myself, and I made many friends there. And then suddenly, my time there was complete. Now that it was over I didn’t want to leave. Master Patience introduced me to the one who would guide me on the next leg of my journey – The Holy Spirit.

The Wilderness

I had heard much about the Holy Spirit at the Academy. I heard how easy it was to grieve Him, so I thought that He would be a softy – boy was I wrong!!! Before we continued, He asked me

“Why did you become a Traveler?”

Simple, I want to reach Destiny’s Summit and discover God’s purpose for my life.

“Is that the real reason?”

Yes. I knew He was testing me. I know that what God has for me is better than what I can do for myself.

“Think back to the Slave Market. What really compelled you to be a Traveler?”

I remembered standing on the auction block and wondering who would buy my fate. Then I remembered how relieved I was when I recognized Jesus. I remembered Him reminding me of my promise to become a Traveler, and how I told Him I had other plans. Then I saw his nail-scarred hands, and I remembered Him saying, “Whenever I see the holes pierced by the nails that held me to the cross, I am reminded that I did it all for you.” I realized that the reason I began this journey was because of my love and gratitude for Him. I wasn’t traveling just to reach Destiny. I was traveling because I love Him.

I thanked the Holy Spirit for reminding me. He said, “That’s what I’m here for.” Then He said, “Don’t be surprised when things get hard. The journey of a Traveler is not a vacation in the Caribbean – it’s a lifestyle. You must continue your journey even when things get hard, or if they’re easy, don’t stay where you are – keep moving! You travel all the time, because you’re not doing it to get the benefits. You’re doing it because you love the Father.”

There is no better way to describe the next part of my journey except to tell you that it was a jaunt through the Wilderness. I was expecting the Holy Spirit to lead me through, but surprisingly, He wanted me to lead, to see what I’d do. Of course, I made some mistakes. I made a few wrong turns. But every time I stopped and turned around and said, “I’m lost. Where do we go from here?” the Holy Spirit always pointed me in the right direction. With every obstacle, He reminded me of my training at the Academy. Pretty soon I learned the drill. Whenever I was unsure of which direction to go, I would stop and ask Him which way he thought was best, and He always told me. I don’t know why people think God enjoys getting us into traps. The truth is, He wants to keep us out of traps, and He will always show us the best way to go. However, I learned, that the best way may not always be the quickest way.

The best thing that happened during this part of the journey is that the Holy Spirit became my friend. He knew me better than anyone ever could. He could put into words the cries of my heart, and the closer I walked with Him, I learned to discern the cries of His heart. I learned a lot about myself at the Academy, but I learned a lot about Him in the Wilderness.

The River

The Holy Spirit and I came to the banks of a river. The water was cool and clear, and I took a long drink and filled my canteen. I could feel every part of myself being refreshed and strengthened. I took off my shoes and dangled my bare feet in the water. Amazingly, the blisters instantly healed, and the soreness disappeared! There was nothing stopping me from jumping into the river and letting the water bathe and refresh my sore, weakened muscles. Then I knew! This was the River of Life! It was wonderful! I knew that this river lead directly to the Throne of God my Father—to Destiny!

When I discovered this I was anxious to get going. We walked along the bank and I saw a canoe. I asked if we could take it up the River. The Holy Spirit told me that I’d be paddling up-stream, against the current. The river seemed calm enough to me, and I told Him I thought I could handle it. As I got in, He told me that He would leave me alone for awhile, but just as Jesus told me, He would never lose sight of me, and if I needed anything…I know—ask! He smiled and said goodbye.

I began to paddle and it wasn’t so bad. But after a while, the current became stronger and it was harder to paddle. I struggled with all my might. I knew that if I stopped I would be carried back towards Mediocrity, and that was the last thing I wanted. Any backwards movement would take me farther from Destiny, and I couldn’t let that happen. But the more I paddled the stronger the current got. Soon there was no way I could continue. I kept paddling desperately, but the canoe was tossed back into the roaring white water. I began to cry out. “No! Somebody help me! Jesus! Where are You! Holy Spirit I need you! Help me!!!” Suddenly, the canoe lurched forward and I heard a voice say, “You can stop struggling. I’m here.” I turned to see who it was, and it was Grace.

I sat down in the canoe and let Grace paddle on. I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew Grace was gently lifting me out of the canoe and carrying me into the most beautiful house I had ever seen.

The Inn of Refreshing

Grace carried me up the stairs and into a bedroom and laid me down in the most comfortable bed I had ever slept in. And that’s what I did—I slept. The next morning I woke up and there at the end of the bed was a table and a breakfast tray. The room was beautiful! It was decorated exactly the way I would have decorated it. Everything was so peaceful, and for the first time since I began my journey, I wasn’t in a hurry to get going.

I went downstairs and met my host and hostess – Peace and Joy. They welcomed me to the Inn of Refreshing, and explained that the Father built this Inn especially for weary Travelers to rest and reflect on their journey, and also to gather strength. They told me that there was one more part of the journey and I would need all the strength I could get.
I spent many happy days there worshipping, praying with other Travelers staying at the Inn, walking the beautiful trails that surrounded the property. I thought about how far I’d come and all that I’d learned along the way. And then one day, Peace knocked at my door and told me I had a visitor. A visitor? Who would come and visit me here? I came downstairs and there in the parlor was Jesus! I ran into His arms. I was so glad to see Him, and I had so much to tell Him. He listened patiently to everything I had to say, and then He asked me how I’ve enjoyed my stay. I told Him I was enjoying it so much I never wanted to leave. But it was time to leave.

Shadow of Death

I gathered my belongings, said goodbye to Peace and Joy, and followed Jesus out of the door and down the lane that led to the road to Destiny. There at the bottom of the lane was the Holy Spirit. I smiled and waved at Him, He returned the wave, but I could see that His face was sober. Jesus and the Holy Spirit explained that I had one more part of the journey before I reached Destiny’s Summit. They told me that I must pass through the Shadow of Death. As they said that a cold shiver went up my spine. And, as with each part of the journey, the choice to continue was mine. I remembered the writing of a former Traveler who said, “And even if I walk through the shadow of death I will not fear, for You are with me.” I asked if I had to go alone. The Holy Spirit told me that the Shadow of Death is dark, and even though I would not see Him He would be with me every step of the way. I asked if there was any other way to reach Destiny. Their silence told me the answer.

I happened to glance at Jesus’ hands and saw the nail prints. After all He had given for me, can I give Him anything less? I said, “I’ll go. You have never led me into danger or allowed harm to come upon me. I trust you.” They nodded to one another and walked ahead of me as I followed. They never turned to see if I was still following. I trusted them to lead me, and they trusted me to follow.

We came up to the mouth of a huge cave. There Jesus said goodbye and promised to wait for me on the other side. The Holy Spirit stepped aside and let me go first—just like He did in the Wilderness. I walked into the cave and remembered their instructions to keep moving. It didn’t matter how long it took, just keep moving forward. I kept my arms in front of me and shuffled slowly forward. With every step the darker the cave became. It’s amazing what happens when you’re alone in darkness, even though I knew I wasn’t really alone. My mind came alive. I remembered all of my friends and family back in Mediocrity. I wondered how they were. Did they escape, or are they chained to the Masters of Mediocrity, Confusion, Despair, Hopelessness…Do they even know there is a way out? Do they know about Jesus? I need to tell them.

I walked a little further and I remembered my friends at the Academy. Are they still there, or are they continuing on with their journey, or did they return to Mediocrity? On and on, with every step I took I could see the faces of those I passed on the journey like the shoppers at the Mall of Temptation, ever trying to fill their desires with things that can never satisfy and will only lead to death. I began to weep for them. My heart yearned for them—if only I could tell them what I’ve learned. All of a sudden, my Destiny didn’t matter. I wanted to help them reach theirs.

It was strange. Throughout my entire journey I was so focused on what I could get out of it. Yes, I loved God, but would I have traveled if there wasn’t the promise of blessing? Did I love Him enough to follow Him, even if I got nothing in return? I remembered the Holy Spirit asking me why I became a Traveler, and the real reason was because of my love for God, and my gratitude for what Jesus did on the cross. I realized that more than anything, I want my life to be an expression of my love for God, and I want to show people how much God loves them. It’s not about my dreams. It’s about fulfilling God’s purpose.

I continued to move forward and soon I saw a light. I walked toward that light and the closer I came the quicker my steps were until I was running at full speed into the arms of Jesus. The Holy Spirit was right behind me, and the three of us embraced for a long time.

Destiny’s Summit

Then I looked around. I was on top of a mountain. I could see all the way back to Mediocrity and retrace my steps. I had come so far! I didn’t realize how far I had come! And here I was, on Destiny’s Summit!

Jesus handed me a telescope called the Eye of Revelation. I looked through it and saw from a new vantage point everything I had come through. The Slave Market was in full swing, the Mall was packed, the Academy was beginning a new term, I could see recent Academy graduates beginning their jaunt through the Wilderness…My heart began to yearn for them. There was so much I could do so much I could give. And there, on Destiny’s Summit, I discovered what my Purpose was—to help other Travelers on their journey.

I told Jesus that He could send me anywhere, and I would do everything I could to help them. It didn’t even matter if I ended up back in Mediocrity with a full-time job. I don’t have to be mediocre. I could warn people of the dangers of Temptation. I could assist Master Patience at the Academy. I could help Peace and Joy take care of weary Travelers at the Inn of Refreshing. There were people who I could help everywhere. I looked long and hard through the Eye of Revelation to see who it was that Jesus wanted me to help – and I saw you.

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