by Jay O'Toole
This is chapter #21 of The Quest for Home, my NaNoWriMo novel for November 2017.
All alone, no home to find,
then the focus changed.
Home was in a person kind,
All's been rearranged.
Finally, Quest came to grips with three unpleasant, but very real truths.
He was now growing old.
He had reparably lost his parents.
He was alone in the world.
Three comforting and sustaining truths kept Quest going through the rest of his Earthly days.
D'Oso is real.
D'Oso had paid the debt for sin and had risen to tell about it.
D'Oso had changed Quest's life forever when he made The Big Choice to receive D'Oso's Gift of Salvation.
Quest became more and more honest in his later years than he had ever been before in his life. D'Oso Reimi became so real to him that he carried on conversations with this great Lord the same way he had carried on conversations with Casa, in his early years.
"D'Oso, I'm lonely. Only you know how many years I have left on Planet Earth. Would it be possible to know love and friendship the way my Dad did so many years ago?"
"Quest, you have plenty of years left to serve me in this life," D'Oso comforted him. "I have waited for you to make that request. I haven't chosen a celibate life for you. I was just waiting for you to realize that you do, indeed, need companionship."
"Who have you chosen for me?"
"The one you have chosen for yourself."
"But I don't know anyone, who is near enough to my age, to be a marriage covenant wife for me."
"You will," D'Oso smiled. "Keep your eyes open. You will meet someone well-suited to yourself in the near future."
"Will you tell me her name?" Quest asked.
"That would be undue influence on My part," D'Oso assured him. "But you may have the firm confidence, that when you meet someone, who pleases you and who suits you quite well, then I will be pleased with your choice because I know you completely."
"O, I see. It's that age-old philosophy game on the subject of Divine Sovereignty and Earthly Free Will."
"Quest, I can see that you are trying to be witty because you think I'm being evasive." D'Oso pointed out.
"...And You aren't?"
"Dear One, there are many Earth-dwellers, who accuse Me of creating automatons, when they receive My free Gift of Salvation. 'Nothing's free,' they quip in a most ex-cathedra tone. It is true that I require all of you when you get saved, but that is far from stealing your free will. Quite to the contrary. You gave me all of you that I might return to you the version of yourself you would choose to be if your sin nature was already gone and you were living in My Presence forever."
"I'm starting to get it, D'Oso. Do you have any more word-pictures that might give me a clearer understanding?"
"Try this one on for size. What would accomplish your goal, if you wanted to prepare an amazing feast for all of your dearest family and friends? Would the meal be more worthy, if you watched a YouTube video of a famous chef cooking his best dishes or if that chef was, actually, in your kitchen cooking your meal with you, giving you pointers along the way?"
"WOW. No-brainer. Having the chef in my kitchen, teaching me one-on-one the best way to make his dishes would be my choice, hands down. Just think. Emeril helps Quest, the Bear. I would be the talk of the town."
"Just remember, the chef is not doing the cooking for you, but you have placed your entire kitchen at his disposal for the purpose of guiding you to the excellence of being the best you that you can be," D'Oso reminded him.
"Still. That would be infinitely better than trying to learn at a distance with only the help of a video." Quest was sure of himself this time.
"That is exactly what you get from Me when you give your life to Me by receiving my Gift of Salvation!"
"I'm a little clearer, now," Quest said. "You don't live my life in my body without my input. You help me to make my input better."
"Very close, My Friend," D'Oso smiled. "I am in you, but I'm not controlled by you. I work through you, but I don't control you. I'm like a piano-tuner. Remember, Philippians 2:13, 'It is God Who works in you both to will and to do of His Good Pleasure'?"
"That sounds a little like You're manipulating my desires to make me do everything you want me to do." Quest was confused.
"Hardly, Dear One," D'Oso reassured him. "Just as the piano-tuner can only work, when a pianist places his entire piano at the disposal of the tuner, I can do my best work only, when you give your life to Me. When My Hands are on your life, I work the strings, until the sound you produce with your fingers is the very sound that I created, when I brought your life into tune with My Own."
"Oh, right, You aren't nearly as focused on my actions as You are focused on the state of my heart."
"BINGO," D'Oso smiled.
"Your desires are not manipulated into the proper actions that we both know are the best actions for your life. Your heart is drawn to Me, personally, just as my heart has always been drawn to you. When that synaptic connection between our hearts is strong, then your likes become more like My Own and my likes fully embrace yours because we are in agreement.
"That's how it is in the Trinity. My heart is one with My Father and with the Holy Spirit. We are each different Individuals, but the synaptic pathways of Love and Respect between Each of Us with the Other Two are so strong that We think and act as One Person. We each want what the other Two want. We act in unison because We are totally agreed. That is the meaning of Trinity. We are Three Separate Persons (Tri) in such complete agreement that We act Together as One Person (Unity.) We do not consider ourselves to be controlled by the other Two. We work together, simply, because we Love Each Other, we Respect Each Other and we want to work together...from the heart."
"Agreement is part of, if not the entire foundation of, the truest friendship," Quest realized. "If there is no agreement with your friend, then there is not much desire to be together. As the years go by the strongest bonds of friendship are strengthened between two individuals, who love and respect each other, becoming more and more like each other, based on the sheer 'want-to' of the heart."
"Well said, Quest. I love you so much, Dear One."
"I love you, too, D'Oso."
Finding New Normal
Quest knew this lake well enough, but was there any hope that his old den would remain available to him and as yet unoccupied. With a growing respect for his aging body, he took about twice as long down the path to the den he had shared with his Dad and his then-new Mom. As he turned the last corner in the direction of "home," he was both sad and happy to see the pieces of evidence of a new family of bears, who lived there now. Three little cubs were rolling, tumbling and wrestling out in the thick grass in front of the den.
"Somebody else found the things we left, considering this to be a worthy place to rear a family. If they see me and wave, then I'll wave back, but my job is to keep on moving to the next free outcropping or cave that I see. No doubt it will be a smaller place that I will need, especially since it's just me." Quest resigned himself to the fact that things had, indeed, changed, which meant that he needed to move on with his life, too.
In half the time it had taken him to reach his old den, the older bear found his acceptable new residence. It was about half the size of the former home as he had predicted. "This is perfect. Cozier, warmer, in a peaceful part of the woods,...I couldn't have found a better place if I had tried. Besides, there is less floor space to keep clean. WIN-WIN scenario, all around."
He nested his new home in short order with smallish limbs, leaves, and evergreen needles. "Time to look for food." In a couple of hours, he had returned with an armload of fish. He feasted, then laid back for a good night's sleep in joyful anticipation of what the new day would hold.