The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Warrior

I know this is a long story and even though I had more to say I hope the point is clear.

Once upon a time there were twin brothers, Amar and Avidez that grew up together in a remote kingdom called Paz. Their father was the King of Paz. One of the advantages of living in Paz was that it was far from their enemies. The wars they fought were usually small and short lived due to the distance an army would have to travel to engage them. So why would anyone care to wage war against a kingdom that was so far away? It was because they possessed the greatest treasure of all kingdoms. The greatest difficulty and cause of their enemies defeat was due to the great distance. Armies could not carry enough provisions to sustain their strength therefore starvation and disease depleted the armies before they could engage in a formidable battle.

One day the evil King Diablo, the king of Presidio, devised a plan to defeat Paz. He knew that if he were to capture the Prince’s wives, then the King of Paz would send his army to him. Then the roles would be reversed and King Diablo would have the home field advantage as well as complete, healthy and whole troops.

The two princesses’ Orgulla and Terca decided to go horse back riding one day which was one of their great joys. Even though they knew they were not to go beyond the city walls, they decided to ride through the country side. Little did they know that King Diablo had already sent a small force to capture the women. Once the small force had captured the women, they sent a messenger informing the King of what they had done.

This act enraged the King and he called for his sons to discuss the matter. The natural reaction to this outrage was to call the troops to come together to retrieve the princesses. However, once things had calmed down and they began to reason the situation, they realized the obviousness of their predicament. Not only were other kingdoms a great distance from them, but they were a great distance to the other kingdoms. They knew by sending their army they would suffer the same plight of those who tried to conquer them. The other option was to ignore the matter and not to pursue a rescue. The men could just find new wives.

This didn’t set well with Amar at all because Orgulla was not just another woman. She was the love of his life and he refused to write her off due to of the over whelming circumstances and convenience. The King had decided the risk of sending an army was too great and would not sanction an attack. So Amar asked his brother if he would go with him alone to rescue their wives, but Avitar agreed with his father and cowardly refused to jeopardize his own life. He urged Amar to stay and for them to seek new women. Avitar said the kingdom was full of beautiful women to choose from, so why bother. So Amar set out alone.

The journey to Presidio was great, but Amar was determined to retrieve his beautiful bride. The journey was long and difficult, but the thought of having Orgulla in his arms again gave him strength and energy to continue. Amar was the greatest warrior in the land, but he knew the love of his wife was stronger than his skills.

Meanwhile, Orgulla and Terca were undergoing horrid treatment and abuse. Even though they still lived, there was little of them that resembled the women who were abducted. They had been beaten often and treated as common prisoners.

Amar could now see the kingdom of Presidio in the distance. His paced quicken the closer he approached. Not far from the city walls he rested for a time while he planned a strategy for the rescue. He could not rush the castle as if he was a one man army. He had to move slowly and covertly as he made his way to the dungeon. He slipped through corridors and past guards without them knowing of his presence. Finally he found the two captives and once he did his was anger was kindled greatly due to the brutality they had suffered. They were hardly recognizable. He even had difficulty distinguishing which one was his wife. As much as Amar wanted to embrace her and hold her tight he restrained himself because her injuries were severe.

He immediately began to free them, but his wife resisted and said, “Go away and save yourself”. Orgulla felt so hideous that she did not feel she was worth the rescue. She screamed, “I’m not the same woman, I’m nothing but a hideous creature. Make your way without me.” Amar ignored her plea and set them free. Terca ran ahead and left them behind.

Amar had to gently carry Orgulla through the castle because she was too weak to walk on her own. He gave her some water and some of her strength returned, but he still had to move slowly and help her along. Two guards spotted them trying to escape. Amar drew his sword and silenced them quickly. As they made their way out of the castle they came across guards but quickly defeated them before they could report the escape. Even though the escape was slow going they eventually were free and set for Paz.

The journey home was much slower. Even though Amar was grateful and excited to have Orgulla once again, Orgulla was in poor health and they had to make frequent stops for her to rest. Many times she insisted to return because of being ashamed of the way she looked. She stated she did not deserve Amar now because she was damaged. However, Amar’s love was great for Orgulla regardless of her present condition. He believed that in time her wounds would heal and she would once again become the beautiful princess she has always been and even if she didn’t this would not change his love for her.

When Amar and Orgulla walked through the city walls, crowds cheered for their return. There was a great celebration that week in Paz and all attended except for one. Avitar refused to show his face because of his guilt and shame. Terca was recaptured and eventually took her own life. Since Avitar did not come to her rescue, she could only assume she was not worth saving.


Of course this is a story of analogy with parallel meanings, but you may have already made the relation. Maybe what you didn’t know was many of the names were Spanish words that I will translate first and then if you reread the story it may take on new meaning.

Amar – Love

Avitar – Greed, Lust

Paz – Peace

Diablo – Devil, Satan

Presidio – Prison

Orgulla – Pride

Terca – Stubborn

Many of us believe in order to love others they must return the affection. If not, then we are released of any commitment. Looking at this story specifically from a marital point of view you can see there is two sides of the relationship. Many times when we believe as long as life is going well and we are at peace due to our circumstances we begin to feel safe and invincible. Then when we least expect it something comes in and turns our life upside down. Within minutes we can go from elation to tragedy. This is the danger of putting our faith on onward circumstances. Many of us change our dispositions as frequently as the wind changes throughout the day in Texas. Satan is always waiting for us to relax and drop our guard. The moment we do, he is there.

This happened when Orgulla and Terca felt they were safe. They let their guards down and were captured. This can happen to us when life is going well and we decide to give God some time off because we think we can handle things ourselves. This is where pride and stubbornness can lead us and before you know it we become enslaved to whatever our prison may be.

Another situation that Amar had to face was when he found his wife is that he believed Orgulla would be ecstatic when she saw that her prince had come for her. Instead she turned her head in shame and was afraid to even look at him. Whether in this situation it is the man or the woman, guilt and shame will cause one to reject even the purest love. No matter how much love a person can give, it still has to be received and accepted by the one to which it’s directed. To give love is a choice and to receive love is a choice as well.

The main point of this story is true or real love. Genuine love is never based on what I can get for me or get in return. This is very difficult for us as humans to conceive as Americans because we have been taught to take care of number one. If a situation you’re in is not making you happy, then bail. Love in our society means as long as I am getting my way and you do everything to make me feel good, then I will continue to love you. The moment you stop, so do I.

Do not think I’m trying to slam you or judge you if you fall into this category because every human on this planet has done this at one time or another. Many live in this place of selfishness and even if we escape from here occasionally, we still return often for visits.

So what is true love? This is no secret! It has been specifically defined in 1 Corinthians 13 for over two thousand years. Genuine love is…

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

And this is just a few examples. Once you have incorporated these attributes into your heart and life, then you can legitimately say the words…I Love You!

The first and second commandment and the first step for Christians in the New Testament says, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."

It’s so easy for many to say those three words, “I love you,” but love isn’t a noun or a feeling…it’s a verb which requires action and proof. As the old saying goes, “Words are cheap.” Also stated in 1 Corinthians 13 it says, that to do the actions without love is worthless and a waste of time. There is a balance of doing both.

I know many of you have seen the movie, “Knights Tale” starring Heath Ledger (William Thatcher/aka…Orich von Lichtenstein). Heath/William plays the underdog knight covertly participating in jousting tournaments. For him to compete is against the law because he is not of noble birth and these contest are for nobles only. William is smitten by a beautiful maiden. He begins to pursue her and through diligence finally conquers his prize. Throughout the movie many knights pass by her in the while she sits in the stands declaring they will win the tournament for her which she ignores their declarations.

Near the end of the movie she tells William if he truly loves her then he must prove it. He declares he will win this tournament in her name and honor. She tells him he cannot prove his love by doing something he desires more than her. So he asks her what he can do to prove his love for her. She said, “In order to prove your love you must lose the tournament.” Ouch! At first he resisted and called her a crazy woman, but he did as she requested and won her heart.

This is like men telling their wives, I will prove my love to you by having sex with you everyday or by watching TV and for women to tell their husbands they will prove their love to them by eating chocolate. The proof of love usually comes in the form of going against our natural and selfish desires. The proof of love exists in doing something for someone simply because we love them without any return or expectations. If not, then it is not love. I guess what I’m trying to do here is to define love.

I used to say I love people. This was a very broad and general statement to say the least. I really believed this to be true and as long as they reciprocated my love I would continue to love them, if they didn’t, I wrote them off. So I would like to encourage you to be honest with yourself. Do not beat yourself up if you find yourself lacking in this area. Just acknowledge this is an area you need improvement just like the rest of us.

The greatest love ever demonstrated in this universe was the day God decided to send His son Jesus to teach us the true meaning of love. Many believed Jesus was captured and crucified and this is not true. Jesus gave His live because He could have put a stop to the whole thing at any time He desired. Fortunately He was willing to do something He didn’t want to do to prove His love for us.

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