Tuesday, March 11, 2014

City of the Gifted

There was a man who wanted to do service for his King. So he went to the city of Pneumatikos to enlist in the King's army. He was handed over to an experienced knight for training. This knight was in bronze armor and rode a powerful reddish horse.

"So you want to do service for the King," the knight stated in a clear, ringing voice. "First, you must find your gift."

"My gift?" replied the man.

"Yes, each of the King's citizens has their own special gift, and until they identify it they are useless in His service. Here is a basic list of gifts taken from the King's manual, with a description of each. Once you have studied it, we will give you a few simple tests to determine your gift."

The man meandered toward his quarters, studying the list, and almost ran into a knight in silver armor who was riding on a white horse. This knight wore work boots and carried a meat cleaver.

"I see you are studying a list of gifts," said the knight.

"Yes," answered the man, "and it is hard keeping them all straight."

"Maybe I can help," suggested the knight. "There is a simpler way to look at it. Not everything listed in the King's manual are gifts. Some are gifts, some are combat positions, and some are actions. Now once you determine your gift, you can use it in various combat positions to perform various actions. Here is a list of the gifts properly divided."

As the man stood, wondering if the silver knight's scheme really was simpler, another knight came up. He was in golden armor on a golden horse. His armor and trappings were covered with colored lights, which gave him a festive appearance.

"What are you doing?" the knight asked.

"Trying to discover my gift," the man replied.

"That is the wrong approach," the knight said. "If you ask the King long and hard for a gift, He will give it to you. But you should particularly ask for the miraculous gifts, especially the gift of language. Now here is a list so you will know what to ask for."

As the man walked away, he noticed that the three lists often gave different  descriptions for the same gifts.

The next morning the man ran into the three knights, standing in the courtyard.

"Is it really necessary to know your gift to serve the King?" the man asked.

"Why certainly," said the bronze knight. "Otherwise, you have people doing things they are not really gifted for."

"Besides," said the gold knight, "before we knew about the gifts, only the officers would fight, and everyone else would sit around on wooden benches cheering them on. Many battalions are still organized that way."

Just then a sentry came running in. "The enemy is approaching, and we need someone to go scout out their position," he shouted.

"I do not have the gift of scouting," said the bronze knight.

"I have never asked for that gift," said the gold knight.

"It's not my gift," stated a number of bystanders in chorus.

An esquire stood up and spoke. "I have been reading the King's manual, and it does not say we have to know our gift to serve the King or that you cannot do what you are not gifted for. Let's just get the army together and do what needs to be done and let the gifts work themselves out in the process."

"That's preposterous," said the silver knight.

And the enemy drew ever nearer.


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