#60 What Are You Running Away From?
This one is about predestination.
Remember being a child and reading stories about demons, dragons and fairies? About rich merchants and magical princesses? Somewhere along the way, we stopped divulging in old tales. We grew out of fantasy and believing that life could be full of miracles.
But some stories we hear make an impact, so give me three minutes of your time and let me tell you this tale that's always stuck with me. There's numerous versions out there and it's been a long time since I last heard it, but it goes something like this:
One morning, a merchant in Baghdad went to the market on an errand. At the market, he brushed shoulders with a terrifying old woman. She was dressed in a rich black cloak with leathery skin and deep wrinkles lining her surprised face. The servant knew at once; this woman was Death.
He raced back home to his wife, “I have met Death herself in the market. I will take my fastest horse so I can flee to Samarra, she will never catch me there.” Afternoon turned to evening, the merchant finally reached Samarra as the sun hit the sands. And standing there, waiting, was Death.
He surrendered himself to her. But before she could bind his hands he asked her, “Why did you look so surprised to see me in the market in the morning?”
“I was surprised to see you in Baghdad today morning - for I had an appointment with you in Samarra tonight.”
I think of this story often. We are all on our own journeys on our own fastest horses to our own version of Samarra, trying to outrun things. And sometimes the very route we take to avoid something, leads us back to it.
So what are you running away from?
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