The Sage gently strokes his beard and considers the men and women he is about to invest his own life into. A gentle light from the small fire in the fireplace highlights the whispers of gray in his hair. These men and women are coming to him in order to find purpose and meaning to their lives. Yet, he realizes that the purpose and meaning is already there, within them. It was planted by God like seeds in the garden. However, they have forgotten or were never told how to care for the soil, how to enrich their lives so that the seed could take root. He has been taught and has entered into the training developed over many years by warrior monks like him. The training is not always easy, and the results are uncertain. But what is certain is that living life on purpose adds life to life, joy to joy and lessens the sorrows of tragedy. He wonders how he will train these men and women. How many will make it even through their year with him. Haunting his thoughts are the others in years past who he failed to reach, who misunderstood his directed jabs into their hearts. How often has he failed? The number is too many to count, yet he continues to tell himself that he will not quit trying. Surrender is not part of his life story; nor anything that can gain a foothold in his character. He teaches and trains this next batch of leaders for a broken world because he doesn’t know how long he has left.
Knowing that our current life as we know it will be short lived creates two distinct benefits. First, it forces us to enjoy the pleasures of today instead of wasting the time on frivolous dreams of the future. Additionally, it causes us not to give up hope in the midst of crisis because we know that this too will pass. Secondly, it keeps us humble. Today you may have been the big hero but tomorrow comes when many will have forgotten your efforts of the past. Many who love us today will hate us tomorrow. Additionally, it causes us not to feel distress in our mistakes. The mistakes that we made today will be forgotten and the pain will cease. We must press on.
These lessons must be passed onto the next generation or they will waste their lives. These are the sorts of thoughts that cross through Joseph’s mind as he awaits the arrival of this mentoring group. This year’s group includes 2 men, 2 women and you, the reader.
A few hours before the gathering, The Sage sat quietly dreaming of his ultimate future. In the dream he was walking with his wife toward an incredible venue. At this point the vision was only about 20 years away and he has come a very long way on this heroic quest that he developed so long ago. In the vision it is a beautiful day. The air is cool and fresh and his bride is looking incredible. He is walking in his military dress blues. Their hands are intertwined as they walk toward the double doors. Gently he pulls the door open and ushers her inside. There they are greeted by room full of people. The faces are familiar. As they walk through the crowd each face comes with a distinct memory. His mind is sharp even though he is almost 75 years old. While the crowd is very encouraging there are three faces that he is looking for above all others. Suddenly he sees them. His children are moving toward him. Tears fill his eyes as he sees them with their families. All three are living God honoring lives and have put together this party to honor their parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. The date is May 17, 2047. The Sage and his bride are led to the head table and they sit surrounded by love and applause. Stories of lives impacted and how the world is different because of this couple are filling the room.
When it is time to eat they are called upon to go through the line first. The menu he knows matches the buffet lines that he had enjoyed at weddings as a child. His mouth waters as he can almost taste the food as well as the memories of childhood joys. When the meal is complete he is dancing with his wife. Polkas and laughter envelop the room. Soon the evening is complete and they return to this home. This home that is paid off and in great shape is powered entirely off of the grid.
The goal for the Sage in this first meeting was to help these visitors to discover their ultimate dream and then to make a plan to achieve it.