Sunday, 18 December 2016

The King's Messenger and the Horse

by Yaakov from GYE (See all authors)

Someone wrote to GYE:

I am a real sicko - a loser. I am so subconciously focused on lust and I am almost 50 yrs old. Why can't I just be normal? I agree everyone has nisyonos from time to time, but it feels like I'm always stuck in the mud!


GYE replies with a parable:

A great king lived in a beautiful palace, high above the cities that he ruled. One day, the king called in his loyal messenger and asked him to set out on a journey to the cities below on a mission to see where fixes were needed and what tasks needed to be attended to by the kingdom. The king promised the messenger great reward if he returned successful from his journey, and he supplied the messenger with a strong horse to ride to be able to carry out his bidding.

The messenger set out on his journey, but the horse was soon tired and wanted to rest. After a short stop, the messenger was eager to continue on his journey and fulfill the king's bidding, but the horse wanted to sleep some more. Finally he managed to rouse the horse but then it wanted to eat. The messenger gave the horse some oats and continued on the journey. Soon they came across a group of female horses grazing in the field. The horse began to stray off the path towards the mares and the messenger had no choice but to whip his horse back onto the path. When this kept repeating itself, the messenger fashioned a pair of blinders out of leather to keep the horse from getting distracted by seeing to the sides. After a few more hours, the horse again wanted to eat and rest, and when they were finally on the way again, the horse stumbled and got stuck in the mud. It took the messenger many hours to pull it out of the mud and continue on the journey.

And so it went at all stages of his travels throughout the kingdom. The horse kept straying, wanting to eat, rest and getting stuck in all sorts of unpleasant situations. Throughout it all, the messenger kept reminding himself of the king's mission and his great responsibility. He had to keep whipping the horse into submission so it would stay on track.

When the messenger finally returned to the king after many months of grueling travel, the king greeted him with great pomp and fanfare, personally coming out to greet him with a full royal entourage. The messenger was truly grateful, but asked the king why he had given him the horse in the first place. After all, it was continuously distracting to him, causing him no end of delays and hardships. The king smiled and explained, "My dear messenger. I knew that the horse would distract you and be a big nuisance, but without the horse you could never have fulfilled the mission. It was the horse that carried you down to the cities below and allowed you to travel throughout my kingdom and do my bidding. And it is precisely because you succeeded in spite of the hardships that I now wish to appoint you as one of my closest advisors. This mission I gave you was really a test was to see if the horse would succeed in distracting you from your duty to the king, or if you would always remember your responsibility to the king and keep the horse in submission."


Our souls were sent down to this world on an important mission for the King of kings. To this end, we were given a body--like the horse in the parable--to enable us to interact with the physical world and carry out the King's bidding. But we must always remember that we are the riders of the horse, with full control of the reigns! Yes, our "horse" keeps feeling hungry, tired, lazy and sometimes distracted by the "mares" out there, but we must keep the binders on its eyes and the whip in our hands at all time. When we feel overwhelmed by desire and tell ourselves it's too hard, we must remember that this is just our HORSE talking. We don't need to give in to the horse. We are the riders, and we have an important mission to fulfill!

Happy are those who ride their horse and keep it on track. How wonderful will be their lot when they return to the King of kings after 120; what great honor and reward awaits them! And woe to those who let their horse ride them!