A Final Story of a Hope-Seeker and Hope-Giver
Since we opened with a story,
let’s close with a story. This is from my book “The Way of
Prosperity” and is a good example of a Hope-Seeker working with a
Hope-Giver. My hope is that we will be both.
The Story Begins…
A young man walked in the hills with a troubling thought: God
didn’t mean for my life to be this way. It shouldn’t be
such a struggle for me and my family. There has to be another way, but
what is it?
After returning home, he shared his thoughts with his wife, Rebecca,
“There has to be more to life than just watching the desert and
our lives dry up. Why would God allow such a disaster?”
Rebecca gave her husband a look of concern, “Jason, my love, why are you always so restless?”
Jason’s voice cracked with the weight of his desperation,
“It is the curse of this barren land, isn’t God supposed to
take care of these things?”
“Do you really think God has deserted us?” Rebecca said softly.
“Perhaps things are the way they are, because you think they are
that way. We’ve had drought before and somehow we made it though.
Maybe the change we need rests in you.”
He didn’t like hearing that he might be responsible, but it was
hard to be upset with her because of her gentle way. But that
didn’t stop him from protesting.
“Nothing can grow here, not even me. I am a failure to myself and my family. Why did you ever marry me?”
“You silly man, I married you because you are my love and because
I saw great promise in your eyes. Even if you don’t believe in
yourself, I believe in you and I know you will figure it out.”
“Having promise simply means that I possess talents or abilities,
but does that feed my family? Does promise buy the things we
Now, Rebecca was a wise woman -- wise enough to know that her husband
was wrestling with something that she couldn’t help him with.
This something was a task he must do on his own. She knew he needed
someone else to guide him and show him the way to get his answers.
Although she would never consider him a failure of any kind, she
suggested that he go back to her village of Betheden and talk to a
friend of her father’s. Everyone called this man the Master of
Betheden, not only because he was the wealthiest man in the region, but
also because he was one of the wisest Elders of that city.
Rebecca looked deep into her husbands eyes, “Very few great men
have ever made it on their own; seek support from those whose talents
exceed yours.” She then kissed his forehead and left the room.
The following morning, Jason mounted his camel and set out for his
wife’s village of Betheden. It took him a day and a half through
hard terrain before he reached the village, but this gave him time to
During the long ride, he rehearsed what he would say when he saw his
father-in-law, Nahum, who was a practical and prosperous man. Jason
believed that Nahum would be proud to learn that his daughter’s
husband was so determined to create a prosperous life for his family.
Rebecca had grown up in this well-populated village of Betheden with
rich, well-cultivated soil and prosperous merchants. The secrets that
the Master of Betheden had learned many years ago had caused good
fortune to smile upon the entire town. From his camel, Jason looked
around with thoughts of envy, but he let them go long enough to
find his father-in-law.
After asking a few of the villagers, he found Nahum in the market,
selling his goatskins. Nahum was pleased to see his son-in-law and when
Jason told the older man of his plans, he was even more pleased.
Nahum scratched his beard and said, “Yes, what my daughter says
is true. I know the Master. He is the wisest elder in the land and
advises us all. I will write a letter of introduction for you,
but you must agree to do everything he says. Good advice should never
Jason nodded in agreement with his father-in-law’s condition.
“I am willing to do whatever is required of me.”
With the letter of introduction in hand, Jason set out to visit the
wealthiest man in the land. When he reached the gate of the
Master’s home, a young servant greeted him, then ushered
him into a lush garden, and motioned for him to sit on a nearby bench.
While waiting for his meeting, Jason rehearsed all he would say and how
he would present himself, but it was hard to keep his mind on these
things with such beauty and abundance all around him. He felt confident
that the Master would take pity on him and grant his request.
The Teacher walked into the garden and stood before the young man.
After rising to greet him properly, Jason was struck by the
Master’s incredible stature. His confidence and personal presence
demanded respect and yet, Jason felt safe and welcomed standing there
Looking down into the eyes of the young man, the Master said,
“I’ve read your letter. Now tell me why you are
here.” This man’s voice was deep and melodious, like the
sound of a flute carved from the strongest tree.
Forgetting everything he had planned, Jason nervously stammered,
“My wife thought that I should come and talk to you about how I
can create a prosperous life...”
But before he could say any more, the rich man raised his hand to stop
the young man, “No. I’m not interested in helping
you.” And with that he turned and re-entered his house.
Shocked and embarrassed, Jason returned home. With a broken spirit, he
told his wife what had happened. She listened and then said, “Why
don’t you think about your answer and try again. I know
this man. He is a fair man; and I think if you had a better answer to
his question, he might be willing to help you. If he receives you when
you go to talk to him, then fine. If he turns you away, you
haven’t lost anything.”
Reluctantly, a few days later, the young man made the long trip back to
his wife’s village. He didn’t want to see his father-in-law
because he was ashamed, so he went straight to the Master’s
house. He was once again ushered into the lush garden, where he sat on
the same bench and waited for the rich man to arrive.
The beauty of the garden no longer distracted him; he had much bigger
things on his mind. Finally, he heard the sound of the door to the
Master’s house opening and watched the man cross his garden and
greet him once more.
“Now, tell me,” he said in a stern voice. “Why you are here?"
“I need to provide for my family so I need to know…”
Again, before he could continue any further, the rich man told him to
stop, turned his back on him and said, “I’m not interested
in helping you” and walked off.
Dejected and hurt so much more than the first time, Jason returned to
his wife. Wisely, Rebecca encouraged him to keep trying. “You
have not sufficiently answered his question, my love, that’s all.
Think not about what you will say, but what he has asked. Try again, my
dear, I know you will figure it out.”
Once more, shy and embarrassed, Jason returned to the town of the rich
man, thinking that this time he might have a more suitable
presentation. He was ushered into the garden and asked to wait for the
The Master walked over and stood before him and, looking into his eyes, said, “Now, tell me why you are here.”
“I want to be wealthy and respected, a business man, like you.”
And once again before he could go any further, the rich man said,
“I’m not interested in helping you” and left.
Jason no longer felt helpless or dejected, this time he was angry. He
felt he had done everything. He didn’t talk to his wife when he
Rebecca waited patiently for him to talk to her and finally, after
several days, he told her what had happened. She knew his pride was
damaged, but she also knew that he had to get over it. She comforted
him and then lovingly reminded him that the rich man had not told him
to leave or that he could never return, and maybe that meant that there
was still a chance he could talk with him again.
For the next few days Jason frequently went to sit under his favorite
oak tree where he would go to find wisdom when he needed it. He
searched his heart in every manner he could for the correct
When he grew tired of brooding, he told Rebecca his plan,
“Alright, I will try once more, but this is the last time. My
camel is tired and so am I.”
He rode to the village of the wealthy man and again was ushered into
the lush garden. He sat in his special seat, until the nobleman stood
across from him and said, “Now, tell me why you are here.”
With confidence and strength in his voice, he looked straight into the
nobleman’s eyes, “I want to reach my full potential in
every area of my life, and I’ve come to ask you for
The rich man stared back into Jason’s eyes for several moments in
silence. Then he said the words Jason so desperately wanted to hear,
“Good. It sounds like you might be ready.”
The Master sat down on the bench beside him. “I’ll help you
now, because I can see in your eyes that you finally understand.”
Although Jason was relieved, he was also confused. His confusion must
have showed on his face because the Master then explained to him,
“When you first came here, you said that your wife had asked you
to come. That wasn’t enough. The decision to find out about
yourself has to be your own idea, not from someone else.”
The older man’s tone softened as he continued, “Then, the
next time you came, you said that you wanted to be able to provide for
and protect your family. Once again, that’s not enough. It may
seem noble, but it’s something you wanted for others and not for
Next you said you wanted to make money and you wanted to be respected.
Still, your search was based upon opinions and recognition of and by
others and that will never be enough. But this time when you said you
wanted to do it for yourself, that is something I can work with, that
is the passion that you need if you really want to learn. You
can’t help others until you have something to give to them.
Your desire, your passion, your purpose must be your own and not
belong to another. You have finally discovered this I think, and that
is why I will now help you.”
He stood up and summoned his servant. “Please come into the house. I will make you some tea, and we will begin.”
Jason followed the Master into his home. Thus, began his training. He would now become the apprentice.
When a Hope-Seeker finds a Hope-Giver the world becomes a better place. Let’s do our best to become both!
Now you have finished reading, but that’s not the end. We need to
continue this conversation, continue the building of a new way to
market, a new way of mutually benefit from commerce.
Go to http://www.dukeclarke.com/blog/ and let me and everyone else know what you think.
Together we can sort this out. Together we can help each know what is
going on in the Internet world the good, the bad and the ugly. I have
posted this paper in sections there and will be adding thoughts and
information as it comes up.
So let’s form our own Hope-Seeker/Hope-Giver community and see where it takes us.
God’s best to you in all that you do…
Duke Arthur Clarke