Duty Never Ends

An Excerpt from the book
“Stronger than Prison Walls”
by Richard Wurmbrand
So I will tell you a story: A young king was quarrelsome and gave no peace to the wise old king of a neighbouring country. The old king entreated for friendly relations, but in vain.
The young king started a war. The old king, remembering how many foolish things he himself had done in his youth, and that there is an age from which we cannot expect wisdom, gave orders to his officers to capture his young enemy alive. So it was done. He was brought in chains before the victor. The old man pitied the youngster, but pretended to be very angry with him and sentenced him to death. The young king begged for his life.
So the old man told him: “I will give you a chance. Tomorrow you will be given a jug of water, full to the brim. You must carry it from one end of the main street of the city to the other, without spilling a drop. If you do not succeed, your life is lost.
“The next day the procession started – the prisoner with the jug of water; around him soldiers to guard him; behind him an executioner with his axe, a terrifying reminder that he would be beheaded on the spot if he failed. The old king had given orders that on one side of the street there should be a mob to boo the prisoner, on the other side a crowd to cheer him. The prisoner succeeded. He did not spill a drop.
The old king asked him: “When so many people were mocking you, did you answer them back?” The young man answered: “I had no time for that. I had to be careful about my jug.” “But did you thank the ones who cheered you?” “What business had I with them? Their acclamation could not help me. I was concerned with my jug of water. “The old king set him free with this advice: “You have been entrusted with a soul. You have to bring it back to the Lord whole and clean. That is the only thing that counts. If you do not succeed, you perish. Don’t seek the applause of men by cheap victories. Don’t worry if they mock you. Watch over your soul. “The tick-tock of the pendulum in the prison corridor makes me conscious that time passes here, as it passes for those “who are free. Soon I will have to give an account of every second of my life.
Today is my fortieth birthday. I have to account for 1,261,440,000 seconds. While I was making this calculation, other seconds have passed. I have a duty to fulfil every second. The fact that I am in solitary confinement does not release me from this duty.