Once upon a time, there was a rich king who had four friends who always came around to keep him company. They did not become his friends at the same time, but one after the other. Incidentally, he liked and appreciated his fourth friend more than the others and adorned him with rich robes and always treated him to the finest of delicacies. He was closest to the king, from whom he received nothing but the best gifts. The king also liked his Friend Number Three very much and was always travelling with him to neighbouring kingdoms. However, he had this lingering fear that this his friend whose company he always cherished might desert him one day to ally himself to a rival king not far from his kingdom.

He also loved his Friend Number Two. This one was his confidant, and always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the king was faced with a problem, he could confide in him and he would help him get through the difficult times with his famed wisdom. Friend Number One, however, was very loyal and had made great contributions to the maintenance of the king’s wealth and kingdom. However, the king did not quite appreciate him like he did the others, although he is the one that loved him sincerely and wished him well.

One day, the king fell ill and he knew that his time on earth had become very short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, saying, “I now have four close friends who had kept me company on earth, but when I die now, I will be all alone by myself”. So, he said to Friend Number Four, “You know that I love you most among the other friends, endowed you with the finest clothing and have showered great care on you. Now that I am dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”

“No way”, replied Friend Number Four and walked away without uttering another word. His answer cut like a sharp knife right into the king’s heart. Then he turned to Friend Number Three and said, “I loved you all my life but now that I am dying, will you follow me?”. “No”, he replied, “life is too good, so when you die I am going to look out for another rich king to become his friend”. The king’s heart sank and turned cold.

The he called Friend Number Two and said, “I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me; when I die will you follow me and keep me company?”

“I am sorry”, he replied. “I can’t help you out this time. At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.”

His answer struck the the king like a bolt of lightning and the king was devastated. Then a voice called out, “I will go with you, I will follow you wherever you go, no matter where.”

The king looked up and there was Friend Number One. He had become somewhat emaciated because the king’s provisions for him had declined over the years and he had suffered serious lack as a result, sometimes, hardly finding anything to eat. Greatly grieved, the king said, “I should have taken better care of you when I had the chance.”

Now, of a truth, we all have friends in our lives. Our fourth friend is our Body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die. Our third friend is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die they will all go to others. Our second friend is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the farthest they can stay by us is up to the grave. And our first friend is our Soul often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasure of the world.

However, our soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now for it is the only part of you that will follow you to the throne of God and continue with you throughout eternity.

#Extracted from “The window”: A Magazine For Younger Minds; No. 005. Year: 2016. Page: 19.

The truth is that our spiritual person should never be forgotten or ignore in the pursue of other things for it is the part of us that goes with us beyond the here.

Have a nice day…


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