A book which has had a profound impact on my life is The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. This allegory begun during his first imprisonment was published in 1678. Why was he in prison? For preaching the gospel in England. Ironically, The Pilgrim's Progress is still in publication today and is reported to be the second best-selling book in the world right behind the Bible.
As a child, we had a copy of The Pilgrim's Progress which was adapted for children. It is called Little Pilgrim's Progress. I must have been about eight or nine when I first read this wonderful book.
A particular scene came to mind this morning when I was reading some blogs. In this scene, two men, Obstinate and Pliable, left the City of Destruction in an attempt to bring back Christian. They are unsuccessful. In fact, Christian even persuades Pliable to join him in his journey to the Wicket Gate.
All is going well until the two men suddenly feel the earth give way and discover they have wandered into the Slough of Despond. Pliable is able to extract himself by going back out the way he came. He frees himself from the Slough and heads back the direction he came...back to the City of Destruction. Christian, however, refuses to turn from the path. He struggles and struggles... trying to reach the the edge of the Slough closest to the Celestial City.
It would have been easier to turn back. It would have been easier to give up. Christian perseveres. He keeps his eyes on his goal. He struggles in the miry clay not realizing that help is on the way. He can't see it, but it is coming. A servant of the King shows up on the edge of the slough. The edge closest to the Celestial City. His name is Help. Help pulls Christian out of the mire and gets him back on the road.
May we all learn from the story of Pliable and Christian. I do NOT want to be like Pliable and take the easy way out which leads to destruction. Rather it is my desire and prayer that should I find myself floundering about, I will set my eyes upon my goal and cry out to God who is my ever present help in times of trouble. We must always remember God is faithful and help is on the way!
I would highly recommend The Pilgrims progress to every christian... and that not cause I am a librarian
O that my eyes will be firmly fixed on God. Thank you K. Allegory has never been my forte but you explained this so well that even I could understand it. Now...where did the kids put "Little Pilgrim's Progress..kbird
I have started this text many times and have yet to complete the journey with Pilgrim....
Maybe it's time to pick it up again...great blog.