The King is Crazy?
A little story I overheard told while on a train ride. I’m not sure of its origin:
A long time ago in a land far away there was a little city-state kingdom where all the people existed in relative harmony going about their daily business. They were satisfied with their lives and they had a benevolent king who watched over their needs and required very little from the people in return. The king always looked for ways to improve the life of his subjects, and while doing so he decided that having a central well from which to draw water placed in the center of the town would relieve them from the burden of having to carry it from the river, a distance away.
The people were all very pleased by this and busily dug the well in the center of the town. It was a good well and proved to provide very good, sweet water and they all celebrated the king for another wonderful provision from his creative goodness.
But a wandering wicked witch came amongst them and couldn’t stand the peace and harmony it witnessed and was determined to secretively disrupt life in this land. It noticed that all the people drank from the common well every morning. One night it sneaked into town and poisoned the central well.
The next morning all the people drank from the well as usual, which made them go crazy. However the king did not drink from the well.
Paranoia and all sorts of crazy thoughts and imaginings took hold of the people. In time the people said to each other: “Doesn’t it seem the king has been acting crazy? He doesn’t seem to make any sense any longer.” So they began to plot a coup to overthrow the king.
When the king heard about the plot he arose the next morning, went to the well and drank from it as the people witnessed. Everyone began cheering and they celebrated, for the king was obviously sane again.
That is how the legend ends.
But the real story has a slightly different ending:
The king never drank from the well and was able to convince a few to refrain also, saving them from insanity. The majority rose up against him saying he could no longer be their king and they took him away and crucified him. Those who the king had saved escaped and ran to a different land and told the people the news.
But there they found the well had been poisoned also. They tried to warn the people not to drink, but the people imprisoned and crucified many of them. More escaped again to run to a different land and warn the people, knowing they may encounter the same fate. It seemed the common well that people drew from in every land had been poisoned.
And this is still going on and on to this very day.
“For the message of the cross
To those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved
It is the power of God.” I Corinthians 1:18