All of the townspeople hurried to the city’s gates when they heard the singing. The whole village came to greet the newcomer. Every time someone entered the gates, all of Destiny would rejoice. It was a great celebration in all of Destiny when a new soul entered to dwell with them.
Of course, the first to greet the newcomer was Joy. She was always the happy one. Always full of laughter and smiles. She ran up to him and said, “Welcome to Destiny!” She threw her arms around him and hugged him! He was taken aback for a moment, then said, “Thank you. I’m very glad to be here. I’ve been traveling for awhile and I’m tired.” Joy motioned for the others to bring him a seat and a cold drink. Joy continued, “We’ve been waiting eagerly for your arrival. It was told that you would come someday. We know that you are wise, agile and have attained many accomplishments. We are all anxious to spend time getting to know you, but understand that you are tired. We will give you a place to rest for the night and we’ll all have breakfast together in the morning. You can stay at my cottage. I have an extra room.” The newcomer said, “That sounds wonderful. If you only knew the effort and struggle I endured on my journey. Thanks!” All the townspeople scattered to their cottages for the evening. Joy was at the foot of the stairs when something occurred to her. She quickly turned around just in time to see the stranger entering his room. “By the way”, said Joy, “What’s your name?” “Pride”, said the stranger. “Well, goodnight!” As Joy was drifting off that night, she was thinking: “What an odd name! I’ve never heard of it. Well, it sure is nice having a new soul enter Destiny. I can’t wait to introduce him to the Master.”
At sunrise, every soul in Destiny was gathered together for the morning meal. This is the way it was everyday in Destiny. Everyone in the village would come together to give thanks and visit with the Master. He was the reason they all survived the great Emptiness that surrounded Destiny. Emptiness was a place of indulgence. Destiny was a place of abundance. Even though the Emptiness encircled Destiny, it was a very narrow path that lead to it. If you weren’t looking for the road that lead to it, you would never find it. Many souls had been lost forever in the Emptiness. Most chose to live in the Emptiness. Others didn’t even know that Destiny existed. One thing was agreed in Destiny, they loved it there, were grateful to be there and they were never going to leave. They owed their life to the Master. He saved them and furnished them with a home, a job, meals and they all knew nobody in Destiny loved them more than He did. The head seat at the table was saved for the Master. He always came after everyone was seated and quiet. The newcomer would be sitting next to Him today.
Naturally, Peace was trying to get everyone settled. He always made sure there was tranquility between the townspeople. At the other end of the table was Faith. She was known in Humility as the one you could trust. She never broke a promise. Love was spreading his passion of every member in the town. He just couldn’t help it. Everybody always bickered about who was going to sit next to Love. Of course, the others in Humility were there, too. Selflessness was waiting for everyone else to be seated. Gentleness was helping a mother with her irritable baby. Lending his cloak to a friend, Kindness took a seat next to Hope, who was embracing her neighbor because her husband wouldn’t follow her to Destiny. Joy showed Pride where he would be sitting today. She was so excited! Suddenly, you could hear a hush come over the village. It was Him. The Master.
As He took a seat, there was a stillness over each and every soul at the table. Pride was a little envious of such awe. He had never seen anyone with such a presence in his life. The master spoke a word of encouragement before the meal, and everyone gave thanks. As they were enjoying their meal, the master asked every person at the table a question about their life. Pride was amazed how much He knew about each soul in Destiny. I mean, there has to be thousands, maybe tens or hundreds of thousands at this table! How could he possibly know all these things about so many people?! They’re all speaking at the same time! How can He understand them? He even seems eager to speak to all of them. He does this everyday?! Just as he was thinking all of these things, it was quiet. Then he realized all the attention was on him.
Joy piped up, “Master, master, did you see the newcomer sitting next to you this morning?” The Master knows about all who enter Destiny, but said, “Oh, I’m so glad to see a new face in Humility. We’ve been expecting you. Joy has told me all about your arrival. I hope you slept well last night.” Pride was thinking, “Actually, I’ve slept better. Sure wish everyone would have reverence for me like that.” Joy said, “I will take Pride with me today, and give him a tour of the village to show him what his job will be.” “Great! I’ll expect a report tomorrow.” said the Master.
After the morning gathering, Joy took Pride with her to work. On the way, she showed him all the places in Destiny that he needed to know about. The stream where they all washed, the spring where they all got their water from and the garden where they reaped their harvest. Then, she explained to him the most important part of living in Destiny. The table. “You see, the Master will stay at the table as long as we want Him to. We can go see Him any time we want. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we cry, sometimes we laugh. But, whenever we need Him, and as long as we need Him, He will be there.” Pride said, “That’s all he does? Aren’t there more important things to be done?” Joy protested, “Oh no! The Master just wants us to sit with him. To love Him. He won’t force us to. We do have jobs to do everyday, but they can all wait. The main part of living in Destiny is to know the Master. If we don’t, we get very weak. He gives us strength.” “How does any work get done around here if you are all at the table everyday?” said Pride. “It’s funny you should ask that,” chuckled Joy. “That is the beauty of living in Destiny. Unlike the Emptiness, the more time you spend sitting with the Master, the more work gets done. It’s almost like time is stretched when we spend time with Him. Actually, it helps us to get more done.” Pride said, “That’s weird. So, what’s my job?”
Joy lead Pride to his task. He would be in charge of a section in the garden. Her section was on the other side of the hill. It was an enormous garden. Everything you could imagine. Carrots, beets, potatoes, melon, berries and even squash! Just as they were getting started, Joy had a fantastic idea! “Pride! Come over here for a minute!” Pride looked up to see Joy walking towards him. “I want you to meet someone. I have asked my friend to work with you during the next few weeks, in case you have any questions. He’s been with us a very long time. I’m going to see the Master. I’ll see you this evening. Have a wonderful day!” Then, Joy was gone.
Pride stood there and thought, “Oh great! Now I’m gonna have some old guy tell me how to dig in the dirt.” The man extended his hand and said, “My name is Wisdom. Joy has told me all about you. Let’s get started.”
Over the next few days, Pride and Wisdom actually worked well together. All Wisdom talked about was the Master. Pride had his moments of frustration, but was more intrigued by this man. He didn’t talk much. But, what he did say, was insightful. After a few hours of work everyday, Pride would tell Wisdom he wanted to go see the Master. He was really trying to get out of work at first, then it became more out of wonder. “So, how are you adjusting to living in Destiny?” said the Master. “Well, it’s nice, but I sure feel like I could be doing something a little more important than working in the garden.” The Master smiled, “Everyone starts in the garden. Some stay a short time and some a very long time. Others, like Wisdom and Joy choose to stay in the garden. It’s up to you.” Pride thought, “Hmmm, wonder why everyone starts in the garden, though. What could possibly be gained from this humbling experience? I want an important job!”
In the coming weeks, Pride began to like Wisdom. “What has the Master been talking to you about lately?” he said. Pride was surprised by such a probing question, then frankly answered. “He’s been talking to me about my name. Do you know what it means?” Of course Wisdom knew. It pleased him very much that the Master was already discussing Pride’s name with him. It meant he was making great progress. “Why yes, I do. What does it mean to you?” Pride looked up between picking beans and said, “It’s funny, because I know I had another name as a child, but I can’t remember what it was. Sometime while growing up in the Emptiness, my name was changed.” Wisdom spoke, “We all had other names before we came to Destiny. The Master gives us a new name when it’s time. Ask him about it.”
The next day, at the morning gathering, Pride felt a little different. He wasn’t concerned anymore about being noticed or doing an important job. He was just glad to be in the presence of the Master. The friends he made while here, made his friends in the Emptiness seem like enemies. He didn’t miss what life was like in the Emptiness anymore, either. All the prestige, power and possessions could not compare with the feeling he had inside. At the table, he asked the Master a question. “When do I get a new name, Master?” Everyone was quickly hushed. They knew what this meant. The Master motioned for him to come. Pride stood up and started moving towards the Master. Joy stood up and said, “I’m so happy for you! I never told you before, but my name used to be Sadness.” “Mine was Fear!”, said Peace. Faith shouted out, “Mine was Doubt.” “I used to be called Hateful” yelled Kindness. “I was known as Selfish!” piped Love. Gentleness quietly said, “Mine was Violence.” As Pride approached the Master, it all started making sense. “All I had to do was ask! That’s what the garden is for! Now I remember what my name was...” He just completed his thought and the Master embraced him and said, “Your new name is Humility.”
Hi Angie: This is very clever, and I love the ending. Would you consider breaking up the paragraphs more to be easier to read? Particularly the dialoge. This would deliver a heftier punch if easier on the eyes.