Kameur and the Traveler

By James Groce

Once upon a time there lived a young man, Kameur, in a not so very distant land. He was a wealthy young man, not of his own doing but rather by inheritance. His domain was vast; so vast, in fact, that there were many boundary lines that he himself had never seen. One day a traveler, of unknown origin, accompanied by a burro, that pulled an empty wagon, happened, he said, to be “just passing through,” stopped
to speak to Kameur.

The traveling man, which bore a rather full purse on his belt, sought to make a “little deal” with Kameur. “That building,” said he, pointing toward an old barn, “that I passed by and glanced within, happens to be filled with the very kind of things that I seek.” He opened his purse and continued, “For which I would gladly pay a right price to obtain.”
Kameur knew of the barn of which the traveler spake. He, having visited there and observed, knew that it housed only some old and dust covered articles of former years. “Here,” he thought, “is a chance to remove the rubbish and have space where more important things might be stored, and make a profit besides.” A deal was made. A few shiny coins passed
hands and a little later a traveler with a burro pulling a heavily laden wagon passed out of sight.

Kameur, pleased with himself, returned home and began to tell to his household of the foolish traveler who spent good money for a wagon load of dusty relics. From an adjoining room, from which the tale was being told, came an anguished cry. Kameur, fearing for the health of his aged
mother, rushed into the room, to find her sitting straight up in her confining bed. With pleading tones she begged, “Kameur, please tell me you didn’t let the man have all that was in the barn!” Confusion swept across the lad’s face. “Yes,” he stammered, “yes, all of it.” The mother broke into uncontrollable sobs, “But son, don’t you realize you
have sold all your father’s things?” “Oh, no!” she cried, “you have sold his sword and shield that he wore in battle to obtain this land.” Sorrow drained the color from Kameur’s face as his mother continued, “You have given away also his standard that was our family crest.” The aged mother wiped cascading tears from her eyes and concluded, “And
worst of all, the chest that contained the deed and map of your inheritance was loaded on the traveler’s wagon!”

“But why,” Kameur exclaimed, “didn’t some one tell me of these valuables?” “Because,” said his mother, “you never seemed to care about your heritage.”

And somewhere over the next few hills a traveler sang a song as his burro pulled the heavy wagon on.

Each generation is responsible for retaining what their forefathers wrought, plus adding their own contribution and ultimately passing on intact the accumulated treasure of sacrifice, devotion, and truth to the succeeding generation.

The cracked cistern’s failing is that there is a continual loss of its contents and “cannot HOLD water.” Someone in passing might observe that the fissure is very small and only a small dripping of water occurs at the crack. No big loss. After all it’s not as if there was a gaping hole in its side allowing a gushing forth of water. No need to panic. Everything is under control. The loss is too small to be a big problem. But the fact remains–it “cannot hold water.”

Some of these “little drops” that seeped out of our cisterns have accumulated to serious losses. Call me sentimental, or any other name you might think applies, but I remember a far richer heritage of the things of the kingdom of God that were more evident in my younger ministry years that were passed on to us by our forefathers. There was a far greater emphasis on trusting God; without doubt there was more
time given to prayer and fasting; there seemed to be more attention given to the spiritual gifts; and oh how the rafters would ring with strong holiness preaching.

We might be shocked to learn, if we peered over the edge of the cistern, that the water level is much lower than we thought. “We can always fill it up again,” comes the cry. Hopefully so, but there are somethings, once lost, which can never be regained. We are responsible not only to propagate the gospel but also to retain the gospel. “Hold
fast,” is still the injunction of heaven to the church of Jesus Christ. One generation of compromise is all it takes to raise up a generation “that knew not the Lord.” God placed a fearful curse on those that refused “to RETAIN God in their knowledge.”

As a lad raised in the country I know the process required to obtain water from a draw well. One must draw the rope with one hand and RETAIN the slack with the other. And by continuing this process you are able to draw the bucket to the top of the well. Are we trying a “one-handed”
approach to preaching today? Wanting the Living water but failing to retain the slack as we draw? From so many corners we hear the chanting of the crowd for revival and many of those voices are proclaiming that the way of the past is not operational today. It’s like the chick
saying to the hen, “I know that in your day it had to be an egg. But times are different now, folks don’t like the “hardness” of the shell. We will seek a more compatible route to hatching.”

Will we, like Kameur, learn to late that the value of yesterday is too great to sell for nought today?