“A Fool’s Mortification” (1)

An Allegory, by Mike Murrell

There once was a wise man travelling on an adventure who was tasked with delivering food to a church. Strolling along a path next to a lake of murky waters, he noticed a tiny little worm-like creature submerged in water with its head sticking out. It was waving back and forth as though he were dancing. After the creature grabbed the man’s attention, he began to speak, asking him for a bit of food, for the creature was desperately hungry. Though the food the man had was supposed to be for the village people, he figured that since it was just a tiny little worm, he’d only need to give him a tiny bit of food to be satisfied. He broke off a tiny little crumb of the food and fed it to the creature. Suddenly, the creature grew double in size! The creature then asked for more food, and the man fed him a little bit more, and it doubled in size again. This process continued, and as it grew, the creature’s appearance became more pleasing to the eyes and its voice more sweet to the ear. It would keep asking for more, for the creature’s appetite was never satisfied.

As the creature continued to grow, the man became more enchanted by it. The wise man soon realized that if this creature grew any more, it would be strong enough to kill him and take all his food. So, hesitantly he said, “No more.” The creature replied back, “Mooore.” The wise man replied more firmly. “No more!” The creature with anger screeched, “MOOOOORE!” So the man clenched his sword and yelled, “NO MORE!” Suddenly hundreds of creatures, all the same size and appearance poked their heads out of the water, all asking for more. As he drew out his sword, the ground shook and loud thunderous roars sounded through the lake. Out came a huge monster-like creature. What the man initially thought was a worm-like creature, was actually just a single strand of hair on this beast, and as the hair grew in size, so did the entirety of the beast. In one large gulp, the beast swallowed the wise man whole.

The wise man’s name was fool, for folly does not escape even the wisest of men. With great wisdom comes also the temptation to be wise in your own eyes. The beast’s name was sin, and the food the man fed him with was time. Had the man spent his time in the service of his church instead of on the fleeting pleasures of sin, he would not be stuck in the belly of the beast. Had he not fed the beast even once, the beast more quickly could have been slain. Yet with each succeeding moment, he thought he was in control of situation, making the beast twice as hard to slay. The fool says in his heart, “I will sin this one time and no more.” The fool says in his heart, “I will tread the paths of temptation just a little bit. It’s okay, I can get off the path when I feel temptation rising too much.” The fool says in his heart, “It’s okay, I can just easily repent afterwards.”

by Mike Murrell

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