“Cherish what you have before it’s too late” By David H Atwater

Long ago in a far away country there was a young man who lived in a seaside village. This village was much like the many villages that dotted the seashore. The villagers carried on as their ancestors before them; tradesmen, boat builders, mariners, whalers and navigators. There were blacksmiths and coopers and fishermen as well. But in this village there was a legend that was brought in by ancient mariners from distant lands. As with most legends, this story was just a fable. Or was it? It was said that if found, the “TOUCHSTONE” could turn base metals to pure gold. Iron, brass, copper and steel would become precious gold when it came in contact with the “TOUCHSTONE” ‘How absurd this fable’, the villagers thought’, ‘Who was foolish enough to think of such a notion’! Where could such silly fables originate? The villagers wouldn’t be taken by such notions! Except this certain young man who liked the idea that such a fable had merits. He began to study out in his mind how he could go about to obtain the “Touchstone”. He made his way down to the local blacksmith and told the smith that he required a metal bar that he could easily handle and carry throughout the day without it being too cumbersome.

So the blacksmith forged a metal bar for the young man. The blacksmith asked the young man, “ What are you expecting to do with this young man?” His reply was, “Well, I am just looking to attract something precious that is lost.” “Do you need a magnet as well,” said the blacksmith, “Oh that won’t be necessary” said the young man. And the young man went on his way. He started wandering up and down the streets, picking up pebbles and stones and touching them to the metal bar that he carried; street after street, day after day. He must have picked up thousands of stones. But that didn’t deter him. He continued throughout all the streets of the village. The village people noticed him and thought him a bit foolish to spend his time on such trivial matters. Day after day he went on. The people knew that he was searching for this “TOUCHSTONE”….the one that never existed and in their minds never would. After several weeks he began to tire of holding the metal rod and returned to the blacksmith. “Kind sir,” he said, “Would you make for me a linked chain necklace that I may fasten about my neck?” Without hesitation the balcksmith began to forge for the young man his necklace as he requested. Link by link he forged the necklace. Graciously the young man thanked the blacksmith and left on his way in search of the “TOUCHSTONE”. From this point he went down by the seaside and began to pick up the stones one by one, day by day. What now became tens of thousands of stones were picked up along the way. He continued all along the bays and coves. From estuaries and pools to inlets. Day after day and night after night he continued, week after week and month after month. The villagers began to mock him and make fun of his antics. “Look at the fool!” they would rail. As time rolled on he became bored with the routine of touching each stone to the metal necklace and tossing it aside.

Now as he picked up stones and pebbles he would touch them to the metal necklace and skip them across the water. He began to challenge himself by skipping the stones further and further out to sea, seeing if he could skip each one further than the previous one. Ten, fifteen even twenty skips across the water they would fly. Like skipping saucers they would travel great distances. He was sure he could do better each time. This went on for days. Now as time went on, he realized years had passed. But this still did not deter him. At the end of another long day he threw his last stones out to sea as far as they could possibly go. As the twilight sun was setting, he decided to rest on the beach as he had previously done all those countless nights before. He was still determined in his resolve to find the “TOUCHSTONE” at all costs. He fell into a deep sleep and dreamed all that night of finding the “TOUCHSTONE”. After what seemed to be a very long night, he began to stir in the morning hours. The sun seemed to be particularly bright this morning; certainly much more than on previous mornings. He rubbed his eyes and squinted but the brightness prevailed. He turned away from the sun and looked down noticing that the necklace of steel had turned to pure gold!. Jumping up and down in ecstasy, his joy was full. He could now prove to the villagers that he had finally found the “TOUCHSTONE” He shouted and danced, “I have found it, and I have found the “TOUCHSTONE!” Then to his dismay, he looked around for the legend: the “TOUCHSTONE”. Then to his horror he realized that sometime within that day he had indeed found the “TOUCHSTONE”. However, he realized that he had tossed it out to sea as far as he could throw it!

The “TOUCHSTONE” was once found and now lost forever. In his anguish he returned home with only the gold necklace as evidence of the “TOUCHSTONE”. But this was not enough to convince his fellow villagers of the legend. There was no “TOUCHSTONE”. In life as in death, we seek for things most precious and dear. For many, they find the evidence they are looking for and cling unto it. For others they find the things most precious and dear, yet they toss it aside, thinking in their daily routines they can recover that which is lost. We, like the young man, come to this planet which we call home. It was only meant to be a temporary residence, for some 10yrs, others for 50 yrs and even 100 yrs, for a few. We have come here to search for that which is the purpose of our existence; the purpose and fulfillment of life itself. To you my brothers and sisters who are on this journey, I say to you that the “TOUCHSTONE” of your existence is here. It lies within your grasp. But it comes at a price. The price is patience, compassion, charity and love. You will be shown the evidence and given the prize. It also comes with consequences. They are on the one hand Peace, Joy and Happiness or Sorrow, Pain and Suffering. We choose the outcome. We cannot blame God or Satan. Even those who find the “TOUCHSTONE” of life can expect Pain and sorrow with suffering. That does not make the individual “bad” in any way. But they will have the ‘assurance’ of life without end in a state of happiness with loved ones by their side. Remember this……”Thou shalt Love or Thou shalt Perish? Many Christians know not God, neither do they recognize His Voice. Islam is a religion without a Saviour Jews have a Saviour that they have rejected. When you know the Master’s voice, responding to His call, you will have the “Touchstone of Eternal Life” and all that He has is yours.

Worlds without end David H Atwater (dec) 1904-2004 A voice from beyond

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