The Water’s Still On: An Allegory
Let me tell you a story.
Last night, as I pulled up to my house, the neighbor from across the street came over to me and told me some troubling news, to say the least. She told me that someone had come around the neighborhood to inform everyone that starting today everyone’s running water would be turned off (It is odd that no one told me. I live here too, ya know!). As anyone would, I asked her how long this outage would last. She wasn’t sure. She told me she heard that it could last up to 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS?! This is 2013. This is a major city in Cambodia. We don’t live in a rural Cambodian village in 1835.
Needless to say, our family was troubled, not knowing exactly how to prepare for the next 2 weeks. After discussing it a while, I gave my landlord a call. Before my landlord retired, he was the Director of the Department of Industry in Kampong Cham province. So, upon hearing the news, he told me he would call me right back. He immediately called the Director of the Kampong Cham Water System, whom he knows personally, to inquire about said problem. When he called me back, he told me that the director said that there was no problem. They had been fixing a water problem that day. He said the repair was done and the water should be back at full strength by the next day, which is today. No outage was scheduled.
Here I sit now. It is 8:20 PM. The water has been on all day. Meanwhile, my neighbors have been spending money preparing for a 2 week outage that hasn’t come yet, and probably will never come. Exciting story, eh?
Here is the cool part.
This story, which is true, is also an allegory. Just think about the parallels. Someone has told my neighbors all kinds of things to cause fear and panic, none of which are true. They have gone out to purchase stuff, prepare themselves, do good works, burn incense, etc., because someone told them that if they didn’t, bad things would happen to them. Since the time of their ancestors they have been saying these kinds of things. They have to go to the pagoda or this or that spirit will be angry and do them harm. They have to burn incense lest their ancestors return to cause suffering. They must do good works so that karma doesn’t come back to bite them later. When asked about details about said problem, they aren’t so sure of the details. They are sure, however, that what they have been told is absolutely true—details or no details. Their faith is what drives them make these “preparations.”
This news, for a while, troubled me too. After all, it was all I had heard—just this one story. However, one day I got in touch with someone that I knew to ask about this problem. Frankly, this friend of mine didn’t know much himself. However, this friend of mine knew someone that knew all about this problem. He knew Him personally. This friend knew the Director of said problem personally. The Director over that department told my friend the truth. That friend, though he knew nothing himself, just relayed what the Director said. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Director. He knows all about the problem. Further, my Christian friend knows Him personally. My Christian friend took the time to tell me the truth about this problem. So, I heard the truth from the Director, through the witness of one that knew Him personally.
So, now I have believed and received the Director’s truth. While my neighbors are burning incense, I trust in the word of the Director (after all, He knows all about the problem). I made no such preparations as my neighbors did. Their faith is in a vague word passed down from generation to generation. So they prepare… My faith is in the Word of the Director. We made no preparation, trusting His Word only. Behold, 8:35 PM now. Still have water. I’ll bet tomorrow we’ll have water too.
Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Thank God for those that bore the Director’s words. Thank God for the Director. Thank God for His truth, His Word. It shall endure unto the very end.