"THE JOSHUA TREE" A Desert Parable (continued)
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Second EpisodeJust when the desired goal of shutting out all external stimuli has been achieved or so he thought, a warm voice shook him out of his altered state of consciousness. In spite of its gentle tone, the voice triggered a reflex that rippled throughout his body caused by the unexpectedness of his breaking the silence barrier.
“Welcome to the desert, I was waiting for you and here you are just on time” the unexpected voice said. These words gripped his heart with an uncontrollable anxiety.
"That’s it," our lost traveler spoke to himself, thinking he was alone. "Either I am waking up from a terrible nightmare, or I am in the throes of delirium just before dying of thirst, of a heatstroke and madness. First, dementia sets in indicating the decrease in blood circulation to the brain."
"But then, what if this were real?" continuing his monologue, arguing with all the motivation of his survival instinct. "After all nobody enjoys dying alone. What if?" In a desperate attempt to maintain a grasp on reality, he squinted with his deficient eyes to focus on the fuzzy image standing in front of him.
"No, you are not going to die, I assure you. As long as there is life there is hope." the strange voice continued.
"Easy for you to say. You should try being in my place." The lost man uttered these words without realizing the weirdness of the situation.
"Yes I understand, the reply came back" -- giving the confused man the sensation of playing a solitary mind game of paddle ball, having heard this cliché so many times before -- "but I was in your situation before. "This is why I am here with you. Perhaps one day you will be in my place after you meet my Master."
The mere mention of the that word, "master", jolted him back from his distraction, the match getting more challenging to his overblown ego.
"No thanks! Me, submit to a master. It’s been a long time since I have been out of school. Who do you see in front of you? A child who needs to be taught? Have you ever heard of pulling yourself by your own boot straps? And God helps those who help themselves?"
"Indeed, those are wonderful comforting words. But let me introduce myself: Joshua, guardian and desert guide. How about you?"
"Mine is Theophilus McCall."
"What a beautiful name! Do you know its meaning?"
"No, my parents named me at my baptism."
"Nice to meet you, Theophilus. Well, It’s getting late. Why not continue our conversation tomorrow? You really need some sleep. Good night."
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