“The prime minister told him, ‘Your Majesty. I also don’t think there is any trouble if I should tell you all the truth. Because the god that takes care of this land has always prayed very hard to ask God to grant us, every year, one new king. So God has listened to our prayer. Thus, every year, every twelve months, Hes has sent us one like you.’”
So, finally I thought I have to read the Jewish book. (Yes, Master.) Now this story is called, “One-Year King.” “Long time ago, long, long, long, long time ago, there was a person who was very rich and very generous.”
Ah, one moment. I forgot my eyeglasses, magic eyeglasses. Wow. Aren’t we lucky nowadays that we have eyeglasses to read? (Yes, Master.) In the ancient times, in my age, maybe I could read no more. My grandma, when she was my age, I always had to read stories for her, books for her that she liked. She could not read. She didn’t have the glasses.
“A long, long time ago, there was a person who was very rich and very generous. He had a slave who was very, very loyal to him. And in return, this rich man was also very, very loving and kind to him. So kind, so loving to him to the extent that he was thinking, calculating that, ‘Why don’t I make him a different slave than any other slave, so that his life will never be in need anymore from today. No more hardship anymore from today.’ Ah, he thought and then he did. He returned freedom to him and then he also gave him many goods to sell in the other country. And then he even rented a big ship for him, so that he can go to the foreign land to sell all this merchandise that he has gifted to him.”
Wow. (Wow.) What a nice owner. (Yes.) Nice owner. The best is that we don’t have slaves anymore. But at least this guy is very nice. (Yes, Master.) “And then he even said, ‘Best wishes to you, all peace and good and love. And God will be with you.’” Wow. Good wish. (Yes. Yes, Master.)
“And then the slave bowed and prostrated in front of his old owner and then went on to the ship to go away. While he was still on the ship, on the ocean, suddenly from the north, a big wind built up into a storm, and then it blew the ship off course and then into the shore, where there’re a lot of sharp stones. And then of course, the ship became broken into a thousand pieces. (Oh.) All the sailors, all dead. (Oh!) Drowned and died. Only him, the slave, was still alive. By the grace of God, he grabbed onto a piece of wood and then this wood has been… how do you say, the waves…” Oh my God, how can I even forget English now.
“The waves pushed that piece of wood onto a wild island. All the goods, all the merchandise, drowned together with all the other people into the depths of the sea. (Oh.) And then he alone just laid there all by himself on top of the sand shore, many days, many nights until his bruised and almost broken body slowly regained consciousness. After he became strong again, he saw himself in a dire, hopeless situation. Trying hard to survive, he began walking. And then suddenly he saw a path, a worn path,” meaning somebody has been walking on it.
“So, he was so happy, happy. He saw some human footprints.” Wow, wouldn’t you be happy? (Yes, Master. Definitely.) In such a desperate situation, he even saw human footprints.
“So, he followed these footprints one day and one night, and then suddenly he saw a citadel a little far away. When he almost got there, he was very surprised to see all the people from that city run, run, run, run out to welcome him. (Wow.) And all the leaders, I mean, all the governors and mayors of all the cities kept calling everybody to come. ‘Hear you, hear you! Look here, look here! Please look! Our king has arrived. God has sent us a king!’ (Wow.) So, everybody was so happy, happy and knelt down and clapped hands in the air, or whatever, saying ‘Long live the king! Long live the king! Long live the king!’” Wow. (Wow.) “And then this slave was carried all the way to a very, very glorious palace.”
Have you read this story? (No, Master.) Because you don’t sound surprised to me. Even I’m surprised, even though I read it already. I forgot, and now I’m surprised. Truly, I don’t remember anything. I read it before. I mean two years ago when the pandemic began or something. When I first began the retreat, I had some time to read because I had nothing else. No television, nothing at that time. In retreat, I am not supposed to watch TV or anything. Even at that time, I didn’t even have the news, nothing. So, I read the books. I prepared. I thought one day I will come out and read to everyone. And then I forgot already what it is like. Surprise!
“And then, they cleaned him up, and then put the shining purple clothes on him. Dressed him with purple clothes, royal robe and then put a crown on top of his head, and then put him on a gold throne. He was perplexed as he sat down. He just sat down and was still perplexed. He saw many of the mayors of the cities, and the chief of those tribes, and many other people who all came to him one by one, and swore loyalty to him, (Oh.) just like servants are loyal to their owner. (Wow.) Seeing all this glorious honor for him, the new king, used his hand to rub his eyes to see whether or not he’s looking correctly. And then he was thinking to himself, ‘I think I am sleeping. I think I’m dreaming. It’s only a dream, it’s only a dream.’ But day after day, he’s still the king of that land, and many rituals and many courtesies and all kinds of arrangements for kings, still continue. (Oh.) So he knew that he is the king, really. But he’s still questioning himself, ‘But, what have I done that I would merit this kind of position? Ah this must be some kind of trial, testing.’ That’s what he was thinking. But the king, well he’s the king, he called his prime minister to come and asked him, ‘Would you please tell me what is it about me that you and many leaders, and all your citizens here make me a king? And then how long will I be able to reign this way?’”
“The prime minister told him, ‘Your Majesty. I also don’t think there is any trouble if I should tell you all the truth. Because the god that takes care of this land has always prayed very hard to ask God to grant us, every year, one new king. So God has listened to our prayer. Thus, every year, every twelve months, Hes has sent us one like you. Whenever that person arrives, all of us, from officials to the normal citizens, we will run out and welcome him as you have witnessed. And then this person would be treated with all kinds of royalty, and then make him king.’” That’s simple.
“‘But this king will be able to reign only one year. After one year, he will be driven out of the royal palace. (Wow. Oh.) All his royal clothes will be stripped from him. And then, he will be given rags to wear (Oh.) and then given to the army. (Oh.) And then the soldiers will bring him to the shore of the sea, put him on a boat and take him to a wild island (Wow.) to be exiled there. And then, it continues like that.’”