What Endures Forever?

A princess found herself one day musing over the meaning of life and other thoughts that pass through the mind on occasion, as the maidservants fanned the princess to keep the heat of the day away from her. Her precious poodle would fetch his ball whenever the princess placed it into motion, but this was a trite happening as was much of the day.

Suddenly her train of thought was interrupted by a copious amount of shouting. The voice was familiar, that being her father the king, and the princess followed the noise to see what the ruckus was about. Over the wall (for she used her maidservant’s shoulders to scale it) was her father cursing a clergyman to his face, with little regard of his noble commission. The words are too vile to write, dear reader, so let us go forward to the place where the princess questions her father.

“Dear father,” said the princess, “What has ailed you to use such language of vulgarity to a preacher?”

The king straightened his crown, took a deep breath (resembling an inflated balloon) and recited the previous encounter.

“My dear daughter, whose beauty no one can rival, that preacher is an offense to me: telling me of sin and salvation. I have no patience for such things. All was just a brief matter, let us ignore such trivialities and enjoy the day before the grand banquet begins.”

The night arrived and in the main banquet hall sat an army of guest, with as much prestige as the king himself: knights and nobles sat across from each other, eating and drinking to their delight. Meats, fruits, and confections ,of such potency to rot any tooth beyond measure, were received with open arms and open mouths. The musicians finished their serenade to the accolade of the guest, and all went well into the night. It came after much conversation that there came a topic, at least from the king’s viewpoint, to be quite frivolous; but was allowed to live for entertainment’s sake.

“Now tell me most gracious king,” spoke a knight, “Out of everything in this world, what is the only thing that endures forever?”

After swallowing a piece of mutton chop and drinking his goblet of orange cr�¨me, the king delivered his answer with as much force as his belch.

“Money!” shouted the king, “Such an easy riddle needs no thought.”

“A noble answer, my king, “replied the knight, accepting it as truth.

However, from the other end of the hall, in a corner stood a figure that was not recognized, due to volition, but spoke up against the king’s proclamation.

“You do err greatly, dear king,” came the voice from the corner.

Every eye looked for the vessel of this word of blasphemy. The jester, before approaching, made a humble petition to appease his harsh reproach. Most of the guest made it their duty to volunteer themselves to flog such a scoundrel; for such sharp words were meant for swift stripes rather than the gracious hand of the king, but the king was fond of his fool and took light of everything he said-even if it was true and wise. The jester looked for the hand of mercy from his master, and after seeing it, he turned to a chest that sat beside him, containing all gadgets for entertainment, and removed an item which he hid in his jacket, as a child would to conceal a mischievous deed.

As the fool walked along the table, the guest could not contain the insults any longer and flung them indiscriminately at him, until the jester stood by the king’s chair. Promptly he placed the concealed item in front of the king. The king rolled his eyes.
“Indeed you are a fool,” said the king, “But this must be above all your foolishness.”

“Me thinks contrary,” said the jester, “I have presented what really endures.”

The Bible sat steadily in front of the king, but was picked up with such alacrity, that it looked to be treated as spoiled leftovers.
“Take this away, fool, and insult me no more. Your idiocy was once jolly, but now has bored me. Be gone before I strike thee.”
The jester, much dejected, slumped back over to his corner in the hall as a wounded animal would to his cave. Yet the princess was intrigued by the jester’s stand; and keeping it secret she acquired that Bible from the jester to see if it was the one thing that truly endures.

Now the years went by and that question seemed to fade away over the ups and downs of life, but when the princess was old that question returned to her mind.

She opened that book she had received from the jester, reading daily as one who is wise does, and began to compare it to what her father, now deceased, had to say. Her beauty, that could not be rivaled at one time, now had challengers and victors; for her old age brought frailty of flesh-so beauty does not endure forever. Her riches, a privilege of her father, was lost over an uprising of the peasants, leaving her; although not poor, well to do as the times provided-so money does not endure forever. The Bible, the book she had come to know, was still an immaculate writ of life and how to live it; revealing wisdom, conviction (when needed) and salvation of grave importance. It never grew old as she had nor lost it’s richness as her father did, but remain a gem from the moment the jester had introduced it-and so is all of God’s word.

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