A Note from the Real Author
John is the fictional father of two kids that would rather play video games than read the Bible. They think it’s boring, so John wrote them a story to convince them otherwise. They said they wanted a story of dragons, swords, magic, adventure, romance, and more. So John sat down to write . . .Jared Dees
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The Adventurer: Part 9
Was it really him?
The fire surrounding the Adventurer subsided, yet his body still seemed to shine bright in the darkness.
The boy walked then ran toward the Adventurer. His master was standing in the arena right where he had been burned by the Dragon.
“Is–Is it really you?” asked the boy.
The other knights arrived by the boy’s side. The Adventurer looked at each one of them. The boy looked at his companions, too, and saw the expressions of fear on their faces.
“Do not be afraid. Do not doubt,” said the Adventurer. “I am no ghost. I am he, the one who you have followed into the arena.”
The boy couldn’t believe his eyes. He had seen the Adventurer burned up by the fires of the Dragon’s breath. How could he be here? What would he do now?
The boy saw the other knights kneel down on one knee before the Adventurer. Each held his staff in hand. The boy did the same.
“We are at your service, sir,” said a knight.
“Long live the Adventurer, our king!” said another.
“Rise up,” said the Adventurer. “It is time to send you forth on your quest.”
“Lord, I thought that this was our quest. I thought the quest was coming here,” said Ivan.
“No, dear knights. This was my quest. Now I send you forth to do the same for others,” he said.
“To whom shall we go?” said a knight.
“Go forth to every nation of the world sharing all that I have taught you. They go out seeking glory for themselves, but this only leads to unhappiness. A quest for glory will never end. No glory will ever be great enough to satisfy the longing in their hearts.”
“But what will they do? If they have no quests, what will they do all day?” asked a knight.
“They will join you. They will set aside their dreams of glory and humbly serve others instead,” said the Adventurer.
“What about the Dragon?” asked the boy. “Shouldn’t we go on one last quest to defeat him?”
“The Dragon lives. He cannot be killed, but he is defeated. His greatest lie is exposed. He wants the world to face him and his demons with strength and power so that he can humiliate all who face him. No, he cannot be defeated in battle. The only defense against him is humility and selflessness.”
The boy had so many questions, but all he had seen along his journeys with the Adventurer made sense now. The Adventurer healed the humiliated. He maintained humility in every encounter he had. He defeated demons, but only to protect those who were tormented by them.
“I am going away now,” said the Adventurer. “I am going back to the one who sent me. I was sent to you. Now I send you out to the many people of the world. Go. I will be with you always.”
The wind blew once more, spinning throughout the arena. The Adventurer was lifted up off the ground rising higher and higher into the air. The clouds above opened up and he disappeared into the light of the sun.
Two heroes, husband and wife, sat on the shore of a lake. They stared across the waters expressionless. Their great armor and magical weapons were on display on the walls of their home. It had been months since they wore any of it. Their hearts were filled with shame at the thought of holding their swords again.
They were simple fishermen now, but they didn’t fish today. They just sat staring in shame. Some days were like that.
The husband stood up and brushed himself off. His wife pause for a moment and arose with him. They turned and saw a figure in white walking towards their village. They squinted and blocked the sun with their hands to see who it was.
“Is it him?” said the wife. “Is it the one we killed in the capital?”
“He has a staff and a white cloak. No armor. No weapons,” said the husband.
“Then it is him. He has come back for revenge,” said the wife with fear.
The husband stepped closer trying to get a better look. “Wait, no, it isn’t him. It is someone else. It is . . .”
“Our son!” gasped the wife.
At first she stepped forward with excitement. Then suddenly remembering what she had done, she tumbled down to her knees and started to sob. Her husband stood by her side with an arm on her shoulder.
Their son continued to walk until he stood before them. He knelt down and took his mother by the hand. He lifted her up and wrapped his arms around her just as he had done as a child. He embraced his father, too, and then stepped back to speak with them.
The parents looked him over closely. He looked different. He was no longer a boy. The boy was a man.
The mother spoke first. “Son, we are so ashamed. We can never forgive ourselves for what we have done.”
“Why did you do it?” asked their son. “You hated the emperor.”
The couple looked at one another then down to the ground.
“We wanted to defeat him ourselves,” said the man’s father.
“The emperor or the Dragon?” asked their son.
“We were there to defeat the emperor. We wanted to overthrow him. Then we thought we could defeat the Dragon. We thought we were powerful enough. We thought we were strong enough,” his mother paused for a moment. “We hated your friend. We wanted to get rid of him so we could achieve the greatest glory of all.”
“But instead you came back here in shame, didn’t you?” he said to them.
“I’m sorry,” said the mother.
“I came here to find you. I came here to give you something,” he said raising his staff into the sky.
They waited for a bright light or magical display of fire, but they saw nothing.
The man touched the hearts of his parents and said, “I bring you peace. I come to heal the humiliated. I offer you the mercy of the one who died and rose again. Dwell no more on your mistakes. Go forth helping others in the name of the Adventurer.”
Their boy truly was a man now. They had tears in their eyes. They didn’t see any magic, but they did feel something. They felt forgiven.
“Where is my brother?” he asked.
“We don’t know,” said his mother. “He went looking for a greater adventure. He wanted to find a quest to achieve greater glory than what he saw in the arena.”
“He wants to kill the Dragon once and for all and be the greatest warrior in the world,” said the father.
“The Dragon cannot be killed, but he can be defeated. The Evil One wants us to go on great adventures against him and his demons to search for our glory. This is just a lie. Every adventure comes to an end. Every glory is short lived and forgotten. All that remains is what each hero does for one other. This is the secret to defeating him. Set down your selfish desires for success and seek to serve others instead.”
“Will you find him?” his mother asked.
“Yes, I will go,” he said.
“What about us? What should we do?” asked his father.
“Go fishing,” he said. “And enjoy each other’s company. Your love has no glory, but it is a great adventure.”
He hugged them once more and turned toward the road.
A Conversation about Part 9 of The Adventurer
“The end,” John said to his kids. “What did you think?”
John’s children did what they normally did when their dad was excited about something. They smiled, but were otherwise unimpressed.
“Thanks Dad,” said his daughter.
“Yeah, thanks,” said his son.
“Did it help?” asked John.
“Help what?” asked his daughter.
“Help you see why the Bible is so great. Do you still think it is boring?” he asked them.
“Well, the real Bible doesn’t have all the magic and dragons and stuff,” said his son.
“It doesn’t? Who do you think the Dragon is?” he asked.
“The devil,” said the daughter.
“That’s right. He still tempts us just like the people in the story. Did you catch what that greatest temptation is?” he said.
“Glory again,” said the son. “They all want glory, but the Adventurer showed another way.”
“Good. It’s one part of the Gospel that I think gets overlooked. So many people today love stories of epic adventures and magic and might. The story we are living right here is pretty great and we have opportunities to defeat the Dragon daily by being humble and helping others,” explained John.
The kids nodded their heads, but John could tell they were getting impatient.
“Okay, go play. Thanks for listening,” he said.
The kids got up. First his daughter hugged him then the son joined, too.
“Thanks again Dad,” she said.
“Yeah, I mean it. Thanks,” said his son.