As he was speaking, I felt that sensation again. Only this time it was as intense as I have ever experienced. RED LIGHTS FLASHING…TIME AND SPACE AT A STANDSTILL…For the first time, I was determined to grasp his meaning.
“Joseph, I want to help you with your problems. I want to assist you in understanding why you are struggling with doubt and discouragement. I want to teach you the answers to the questions that roam around in your head. I want to show you a life of fulfilled dreams. Do you know that I love you? Do you know that I have always loved you?”
As much as I was focusing, he started losing me here.
“Joseph, as you saw this morning, my answers to these questions are different than your own. My desire to assist Pedro comes from a love for him; my freedom in life comes from a willingness to cede my own life for his. There is no joy, no fulfillment, and no life on any other path. The way that I will show you is the only way.”
Okay, I’m just plain lost again.
“Your discouragement and doubt, your troubles, your anxiety all stem from your self-centeredness. You cannot succeed from this position, because you cannot fulfill your dreams alone. You cannot succeed from this position, because your dreams are incongruent with the path that is already established. This path leads to your fulfillment, your satisfaction, and your rest. You know this path and it is my greatest hope that you will choose to follow.”
At this point, I let out a sigh. Not a sigh of frustration or a sigh of boredom, but a sigh of relief. The funny thing is that I did not feel relieved, but something inside me definitely was comforted.
“To answer your earlier question, yesterday Pedro came to me and asked for help. He was overwhelmed by his fears for his mother and tired from the burden of being a child working to support a family. His dad left some time back when he was little. It seemed that being a father and a husband got in the way of his drinking and self-pursuit. He requested that if I could, would I help support his family and help him to enroll in school? I know that you are thinking this is easy for me to do, because I have so many resources. But, I have a small caveat to any assistance that I provide. This caveat is that the person I help truly desire assistance and that this assistance will bring them closer to the path. This may seem an odd item, but most do not really desire outside assistance unless it furthers their own self-motivated goals.
Pedro was sincere in his request. He wishes health for his mother and education for himself so that he may help other boys who may encounter similar circumstances. Do you see that these goals meet the criteria of free will and the path?”
At this point he paused and looked at me as if he were determining whether or not I understood. Actually, I felt more like he was looking through me.
“Admiral, what do you wish of me,” was the only response that I could muster?
“Joseph, two other people have come to me on numerous occasions seeking my assistance in your matters.”
Here we go; I knew Leigh had been talking to him about me.
“Yes, Leigh is one of them, as well as your daughter. They are both concerned for you because they know that you’re struggling mightily.”
I knew it. He does read my mind.
“As I have explained to them, I will not interfere or assist unless you are willing as well.”
“What do you have in mind?”
“I have already hinted at my plan in our previous conversations, but first, you must agree to my assistance. As I just told you, remember my small caveat.”
We had reached the door of the bank and I could see Zack pointing at his watch through the glass. Could it be that there is another way?