He stood alone by the side of a desolate stretch of dirt road. No tire tracks or foot prints were embedded upon the red clay to his left or his right. And I was shocked to see him there. I hadn’t seen another human for hours, and I was sure that if my Harley were to break down I would die in this forgotten about land of death.
I slowed to a stop in front of the man. He was wearing ripped up Levis, a dark blue T-shirt, and a tan cowboy hat. His eyes were so blue that they looked like colored contacts. No one had eyes this blue. He was a slender man. I guessed him to be about twenty-five year of age. His close-cropped blond hair was barely visible at the edge of his cowboy hat.
“How long you been standing here?” I asked, climbing off my bike for a stretch. I left the engine running for fear it might not start up again.
“Three days,” the man answered, blinking his eyes only when he spoke.
“You’ve been here for three days? Right here?”
“Yes,” he confirmed, then adjusted his hat to protect his painted blue eyes.
“Why have you been standing here for three days? And how in the world did you get here?”
“I am searching for a great teacher. All great teachers come through or live in the desert, right? Moses, Jesus, Ghandi, Billy Jack, you always see pictures and paintings of those guys out in the desert.”
“Billy Jack was a fictional character in a movie,” I replied.
“Yes, but he was wise, and became wiser when he went out in the desert for days at a time.”
“So, do you feel wiser after three days standing by the side of the road?”
“I do,” he said, blinking twice.
“Really?” I countered.
“Really,” he blinked.
“I know now that when a man has no food to eat he becomes hungry enough to eat wisdom.”
“Yes, I have learned that wisdom can come from within,” he explained. I lost count of his blinks, but they were becoming more numerous.
“I have learned that it is not good to seek out a teacher by wandering the desert. I should have found a proven teacher and set upon a mapped course. In three days, I have yet to find a teacher.”
“Well, you haven’t left this spot. There are no footprints in any direction. Did you even look farther than the edge of this road?”
“No, I came this far. Any good teacher should be wise enough to know that I am standing here. He should expect my arrival and come to greet me.”
“Okay,” I replied. “How did you get out here?”
“My Sunday school teacher gave me a ride.”
“A Sunday school teacher drove you here and left you in the middle of the desert?” I asked, outnumbering the man’s blinks this time.
“Yes, he said that it would do me good to be by myself for a few days. He said it would be best for the whole congregation as a matter of fact.”
I smiled and let out a chuckle. “Hop on, son, I know just the place for you to find a great teacher,” I said.
“You really know where to find a great teacher?”
“Son, sometimes the best teachers are right under our noses, but we’re too busy looking for the teacher that just agrees with us,” I answered.
“Awww…you’re taking me back to my church, ain’t ya?” he asked, hesitantly climbing behind me on the bike.
“Well I’m not taking you to see Billy Jack, that’s for sure.”
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