Maral stood mesmerized before the vast Shifting Sand wasteland. She had been warned that if she were not constantly vigilant, she could slip off the raised, firm path to be swept away in the current of the sea of sand.
Her heart sank at the magnitude of what lay before her while her mind cried out, Wisdom are you still with me?
I am here. It will not be easy but you can get through this.
Though the body of sand was reported to be constantly moving, it appeared motionless. Maral picked up a small red pebble and tossed it out into the never-ending expanse. Instantly the pebble was carried 100 yards toward the horizon. Then, as if identifying the rock as an inanimate object, it was hurled back in Maral’s direction.
With extreme caution and good dose of trepidation, Maral began her journey. Miserable and lonely, she talked to Wisdom about everything she was experiencing, but found she had to strain to hear Wisdom’s voice.
Nagging thoughts and questions buzzed around her mind- You have lost your way. Why are you doing this? There is no end to this hell. Wisdom has abandoned you.
The voice of Wisdom was with her, but the attention Maral spent on these thoughts- even in getting rid of them- was distracting her from Wisdom’s voice. It faded until it was almost silent while the nagging thoughts grew louder as the days passed.
When she felt she could go no farther, she saw something in the distance. Rippling in the waves of heat was a paradise complete with shade trees and a large pond. Desperate for relief, Maral ran toward it.
It appeared, at first, to be directly in front of her, then shifted slightly to her right. Thinking of nothing but diving into the water, she stepped off the risen path.
As she fell the mirage vanished. She threw herself toward the risen path but her feet landed in the sea of sand. The current yanked at them to drag her away from the path. She scrabbled and clawed at the burning sand forming the side of the path. Terrified her heart and mind focused upon Wisdom and cried for help.
The voice of Wisdom was clear and gave her exact instructions. It was miserable and arduous work, but she followed all of Wisdom’s words without question or hesitation. Finally, she reached the top of the risen path.
After some of her adrenaline ebbed and her breathing returned to normal, she took stock of her situation. Up to this point she had exercised her best efforts to remain as sand free as possible, now she was covered in grime and grit.
Focus on my voice especially when it is not easy to hear, Wisdom said. You can make it through this difficult place. There is still some distance ahead, but it will not last forever. Speak with me, lean upon my strength, and you will not become distracted and fall again.