I am a fan of the allegory 'Pilgrim's Progress'. You can buy it here.
In the year of 2000 I embarked on Master's Commission - this is a course that seeks to find people prepared to take a year out of general life and dedicate ones self solely to God. It was a tough year, but one that will stay in my memory for as long as I live. One of the things we had to do was keep a journal. We had to write in it 3 days a week. It is from my first journal that the following extracts are taken - written in the form of an allegory. The allegory starts with me beginning a journey into the dark recesses of Mylife Jungle, my mission to seek the sin in my life and expel it.
As for my confession today? It will become apparent through the tale.
You are welcome just to read it on your own or press play and follow the words below as I give the tale my voice.
Audio Running Time 3:24
(Extract taken from pages 21-23 of Journal One)
Master’s Commission 13/03/00
Part I, The Dark Assailant.
I come across a barrel by the wayside? “What’s in it?” I wonder.
“Salt.” Holy Spirit says. “Collect some of it in the satchel there provided, and then tie it around your waist.” It is it unwise to disobey, so I do as I am asked...
Soon after I come upon a rather sinister cottage, it doesn't look inviting, all is deathly silent. I am curious about it though, and this cottage is in Mylife jungle so perhaps its something that will highlight a problem that I will have to deal with - I sheath my sword, go through the gate and quietly open the cottage door.
It is dark inside the hut and smells of sticky dampness. My footing slips and I look down. The daylight streaming in through the doorway gives the floor a sheen. But then I crouch down for a closer look. No, the floor was all a-slaver. I pull off a glove and take a sample of the wetness with my finger; I gingerly bring it to my nostrils. Oer! On my armour I hurriedly wipe clean my finger and put back on the glove. The stuff on the floor was saliva! But what could possibly dribble litres of slobber all through the place…?
I don’t see it coming and before I can make scene of it I am pitched sharply to the left by an incredible force, I lift high off the floor, slam into a wall and crumble to the moist ground. Thanks to my armour I am only temporarily stunned, but I don’t know how many more of those hits I can take? I decide that I am going know about it, because I find myself sliding fast across the floor like a squat in a game of curling – only here the pins are wooden chairs. I struggle to my feet. Metal plating on slippery tile makes simply getting up a chore.
I cannot tell who or what is attacking me. I try to focus in on my adversary I am expecting something huge to come out of the shadows and reveal itself, then I am struck by a thought … Can it be invisible?
Now whatever it is begins speaking!? Its voice did not boom loudly or rattle glass like I would have expected something of that great strength to do, but rather its voice reminded me of a Chihuahua, small and piercing. I change my focus, and find a moving shape. It is not large at all! it is small, about knee high. It certainly wasn’t human; from what I can make out it is a wet, misshapen sort of a blob??
I could not believe that something seemingly insignificant could throw me around the room like it had been. Suddenly it charges slamming into my breastplate; again I sail through air. Okay, okay I believe it! I fly out the doorway this time, and into the forest outside…
Audio Running Time 5:56
Part II, The Blue-Cloaked Benefactor.
(Extract taken from pages 24,25 of Journal One)
Master’s Commission 11/03/00
…Battered and sore I sit up and look back at the cottage. Framed in the doorway is the little blob. It starts assailing me with filthy language and disparaging comment. The blob starts to glow! It comes out into the light. I gape at the creature - it is out of this world! no eyes, no nose, no ears, all it has is a mouth. Its shape reminds me of a surfboard and similar in appearance to that of soft crinkly rubber, red and warn out. Like small waterfalls spittle runs down it. It glides along the dirt toward me leaving an ooze-trail of saliva in its wake. It barrages me again with put-downs and vicious criticism; defaming my name and smearing my character; it glows more the brighter as it cusses and curses - the thing gets hotter and hotter. It begins to steam, but it gets worse! The trail of ooze behind it ignites into flame as if it is petroleum and not slobber, I stand, but I don’t know how to fight this thing, its out of control! I should have run but now it's too late it's in my face and at each word of malign slander it strikes me hard. Time after time I clatter against rock and tree. I am beaten up and beaten up good. I lie still and can barely move. I roll onto my back and black out.
Smoke is irritating my nostrils. I begin to cough and jolt into consciousness. I see the ring of fire, and then that the ring of fire is circled around me and in the circle with me is the red slob. So much damage, to me and my surroundings, on the account of something so small, is there any way this thing can be tamed? My question is punctuated by a blonde, blue-cloaked figure bursting through the wall of flame. I am confounded, he is shrieking! I look and see that the tail end of his cape erupts into fire. Panicking he stomps out the flame with one of his brown leather boots. I am still staring at this character forgetting about my immediate predicament, when he straightens himself dusts off ash and looks at me with a crocked smile.
“At last there you are!” He is a tall, thin man and dressed as though he had come out of the middle-ages.
“Where did you come from?”
“And, you know me?” I stammer.
“Of you, yes. I’ve been appointed to help you through this mess of yours. I will be your friend and confidant.”
“Do I get a say in this?”
He pats my shoulder “I do not think now is the time to argue. The tongue is powering up again.”
The small red surfboard shaped blob certainly resembled a tongue now that I look at it, and is indeed powering up. It turns redder than I’d seen it turn before! It blows up its cheeks (if that is what they are) and spits at us! My blue-cloaked benefactor throws himself onto me, we hit the dust. The blob’s spit is not ordinary it is literally a fire ball. We roll out of the way of several other pot-shots and get to our feet as fast as possible. I am getting very hot in all this armour in the middle of a fire ring, but I must not take it off.
“Quickly,” said the blue-cloaked blonde, open the satchel at your waist!” baffled at the request I open it.
“What’s salt going to do?” I ask. The man grabs a handful of the coarse white powder.
“The tongue represents your speech and must be seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6).
“This is your tongue Flegma, and this is exactly what you do. You beat yourself up! You put yourself down, you so often criticise yourself, you defame your name and smear your character. You think that somehow how slandering yourself appeases the problem.”
I said nothing.
“But it does not help does it, it only hurts your more and more.”
I feel a tear prickle my eye. He was absolutely right and I knew it.
“Watch what happens.” Just as the blob is about to fire another flame ball, my rescuer throws the salt at the beast. The beast that is my tongue.
My tongue stops and swallows the hot bile it was about to fling at us, Its fiery demeanour begins to subside changing back down to a more friendly red.
“It is cooling off.”
The ring of fire drops away only singed grass particle remains. My tongue becomes childlike, the edges of its mouth turns up into a smile and it begins to dance and prance, whirl and swirl. Like a puppy it comes close and rubs itself over us, appreciatively.
“Aah,” I look at the blue-cloaked blonde uncertainly.
"Perhaps," he shrugged, "I used more salt than I needed too."