Two men stood at the junction, where the road split into two.
The first, Paul, looked muscular, thick biceps, and a hard face, but not the kind of body resulting from hard days at the gym. Paul had been through much. Tony, the second man, would make you smile because he always had a smile on his face. Not as well built as Paul, Tony’s relaxed demeanor and soft look depicted an easy life, with no struggles.
They stood at the junction as strangers, but trust Tony, he turned and smiled at Paul. Paul neither turned nor caught the smile and didn’t seem to care. He was on a mission.
“The two paths are parallel. Why don’t we split up and see where…?”
Paul was already on his way. He took the narrow path.
“Hmm, not a very nice fellow, is he?” Tony asked himself as he took the broad one.
They walked on for a while before Tony became tired and wished to sit. The only other person on both paths was Paul, and Tony knew he would neither listen nor help. He tried, anyway.
“I am tired. May we stop?” He asked, in his most polite voice.
Paul walked on for a bit and stopped. He turned around and walked back to stand parallel to Tony’s position.
“Are you hungry? Do you have water?” Paul asked as he heaved off his backpack from his shoulders.
Speechless, Tony shook his head. At Paul’s upward glance, he found his voice.
“No, I hoped we would find shops on the way. It’s quite odd, and I packed all this money for nothing.” Tony said.
Paul smiled and unpacked his bag. He brought out a big Ziploc bag filled with bread, and a water bottle, still sealed. He threw a piece of food and bottled water to Tony.
“Eat, and let’s be on our way.”
“Aren’t you eating?”
“I eat as directed.”
“Who directs you? There is no one else here.” Tony asked as he chewed, his brows furrowed.
“I listen to God’s Spirit.”
“Really, where is he?” Tony asked as he stood up and looked around.
Paul laughed. “Relax, He is inside me, in my heart.”
“Oh, right,” Tony said as he sat down again. “So, what else does He tell you?”
“That’s a long story. Are you done, we need to move on?”
They moved on, and Tony wished he was on Paul’s path. They walked for a few hours, and darkness descended. Tony whipped out his phone and used the torch to find the massive light source in the backpack he carried. He looked over at Paul’s path and stopped in his tracks. Paul moved forward without any light. No streetlights, car lights, or a phone. Darkness covered the narrow path, as it did the broad one.
“Hey, why don’t you use my phone, it’s fully charged.”
“No, thank you. I have the light with me.”
“Are you sure? I’m looking at you, and there is darkness all around you.”
“I have the Holy Spirit to guide me. I’m fine, thanks.”
Tony turned back to the road, irritated. How was the invisible spirit guiding and directing the guy?
There were rocks all over his path, Tony wished Paul well, concentrating. They had walked for about thirty minutes when Tony noticed Paul had stopped.
“I want you to listen to me with care. There is a snake behind you…” Paul didn’t finish.
Tony shouted and ran.
By the time Paul walked up to Tony, he was wheezing and fanning himself.
“Was that a joke? How did you know about the snake?” Tony asked, still out of breath.
Paul smiled. “The Holy Spirit told me about it.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “This Spirit thing again? Are you sure there was a snake back there?”
“Go back and check.”
“But I can’t do that.”
“Well, you have to trust God.”
“I don’t know how to do that either.”
“Do you want to learn?”
“This night? Let’s start tomorrow. It’s late.”
“Okay. Let’s go.”
An hour later, Tony complained, he was tired. Paul stopped and encouraged him to sleep, trusting God for protection. They would rest there for the night.
Tony awoke the next day to loud screeches. He opened his eyes slowly, as his heart took up a fast beat. He assumed the noises were not human. Three gorillas stood near him, ransacking his torn bag. He shouted and moved as he stood. He scrambled away from the animals who turned and followed him.
Paul woke up and looked at the scene. “Stop!”
The animals halted, Tony did not. He kept running, not bothering to look back.
Paul looked back at Tony’s scattered bag, shook his head, and continued on his way. He caught up to Tony in an hour, and set his backpack on the ground, searching for breakfast.
“You said to trust God. Why did he allow those animals near me?”
Paul smiled. “Did they hurt you?”
“No, but they could have. Look, all my stuff is with those wild beasts.”
Paul laughed at that. He couldn’t help himself.
“Are you laughing at me? How dare you, do you know who I am?”
“How has your status helped you on the path you are on?”
“This is temporary. Listen, be good to me, or…”
Tony looked at the bread in Paul’s hand and the water in a can, and shut up, rubbing his growling stomach.
“I am hungry.”
Paul smiled as he threw bread and water to his companion.
“Thank you,” Tony said, as he picked the bread and water from the ground. He never thought he would ever eat food thrown at him. Tony didn’t want to continue on his chosen path. The dangers he faced didn’t seem to affect Paul in the least.
“The road you are on is better.”
“Yes, it is. It leads to life.”
“I don’t know about that. I’m talking about the absence of danger there.”
Paul laughed again. “Who told you there is no danger here?”
“Well, we’ve been walking together for a while now, and nothing dangerous has crossed your path.”
“Do you know Psalm 91?”
“My mother taught me.”
“Do you remember it?”
Tony thought hard for a while before his eyes widened in understanding.
“You mean it’s all true?”
“How can I get such power to work in my life? I need protection and sustenance.”
“It depends. Are you looking for power or God?”
“Is there a difference?”
“Yes. The power may come and go with all its trappings, but God remains all-powerful and omnipresent.”
“I want God. If that’s what you have, I want it too.”
Paul smiled. “You have one thing to do, my friend.”
“What is it?” Tony asked, with the first smile on his face in a while.
“Leave the road you’re on and join me on mine.”
“That’s true. How?”
“Start at the beginning.”
The smile left Tony’s face.
Till next time, be transformed!!