Once, many years ago in the time two thousand and oh…. seven or so, a community spiritual leader known only as the Great Matt was at a local corner preaching the word of his gospel to his three disciples.
“And don’t even get me started on John Kerry. Who does he think he is with all that hair anyway?”
The disciples nodded in agreement.
“Tell you what, you guys trust my word, right?”
And the first disciple said,
“Do not tempt our faith Great Matt! You have our complete trust.”
And the Great Matt nodded in delight, and said,
“Then we must go on a spiritual journey. Come, let us walk.”
And thusly, the Great Matt and his disciples exited the bar and began their journey. They walked for five minutes or so, and came upon a beggar. And the beggar said unto them,
And the first disciple looked upon the beggar with pity, and he said,
“Oh Great Matt! Why has God abandoned this man in his hour of need?”
And the Great Matt closed his eyes, and thought for a second, and then said unto the beggar,
“Oh beggar! What have you done to deserve such a fate?”
“Some jerk promised me a half-priced soda, then robbed me blind!” The poor man replied.
And the Great Matt, heart full of kindness and pity, uttered to the beggar,
“I cannot give you money. But I can give you this advice…”
But before the Great Matt could answer, the beggar pulled out a knife.
“Give me some change or I’ll shank ya!”
And the Great Matt said, “Oh shit!” And he and his disciples ran away.
Later on, the Great Matt and his disciples came upon a small child playing on a hill. And they saw that the child was engaged in an ancient ritual of violence, killing ants by stepping on them.
And the first disciple said, “Oh Great Matt. What are we to make of this? How can we strive to be kind harmonious beings when our blood is corrupted with the thirst for killing at such a young age?
In response, the Great Matt approached hell’s child, and he said unto him,
“Hey kid, why are you killing those ants?”
To which the child of satan responded,
Immersed in contemplation, The Great Matt stroked his iphone, then replied,
“Tell me child, do you fear death?”
And the child said,
“I don’t have to answer you, you’re not my dad!”
The Great Matt furrowed his brow, then bellowed to his disciples,
“This kid’s a little asshole! I swear to god I oughta….”
And the great disciples took hold of the Great Matt and they said, “Matt, you don’t want to go back to prison man, don’t do this”.
And the Great Matt’s cheeks turned rosy and he muttered wisely,
“Uh…God works in mysterious ways and sometimes he challenges us or something. Let’s go rent a car for the rest of this journey my feet are killing me.”
And the Great Matt and his disciples rented a small van and continued on their travels. Whenceforth they came upon a racetrack, wherein a NASCAR match was taking place. And the Great Matt told his disciples they should ‘stop over real quick to see what the deal is’. And so they did.
Once inside, one disciple asked the spiritual leader,
“Oh Great Matt. Here in this strange place the cars go around and around in circles, always ending up in the place they started. What is the meaning of this strange behavior?”
And the Great Matt’s eyes widened, and he turned to his disciples and said,
“Would you guys back off and let me chill for one second? Like, one freaking second?! Just go wait in the Durango until I get back.”
And so the disciples returned to the Durango, and there they snacked on peanut butter crackers until the Great Matt came back a few hours later.
And they drove for a bit more, and they came upon a Starbucks. And the Great Matt said,
“We have arrived at our destination!”
They entered the Starbucks and approached the manager. And the Great Matt raised his arm and proclaimed,
“Oh shopkeep, please hear our tale. We have travelled several hundredths of a mile to reach you. We come with an urgent request. I saw in your latest advertisement if I bring three friends and we each buy a medium coffee we get a frappuchino half-price. I have followed your instructions and demand to be compensated!”
And the manager looked at the Great Matt, and deemed he was worthy of such a gift. While he prepared the beverages the Great Matt and his disciples became engaged in a heated conversation:
“You brought us all the way here for a half-price coffee? Are you kidding?”
“Matt, this is totally lame!”
“I’m missing American Idol for this, what the hell Matt?”
And the Great Matt looked upon his disciples, and a smirk came across his pasty face. And he said,
“Disciples, I hear your whines and I urge you to reconsider. Remember our meetings with the beggar, the child, and the NASCAR race. They all shared one thing in common, and that thing is the lesson I wish to impart to you. Close your eyes, and think of what that may be.”
And the disciples closed their eyes. And for twenty minutes, they contemplated. With eyes still closed, the first said to his peers,
“I have solved it! At each interaction, an individual lost his temper and we learned nothing. Clearly the message is that a hot head gathers no knowledge.”
Then the second raised his voice,
“No, the lesson is this. If we blindly follow the words of a spiritual leader, we will learn nothing. We must ask pressing spiritual questions to ourselves first before we follow the advice of others.”
And the third said nothing, but he opened his eyes. And there he saw that the Great Matt was gone, and the coffees were gone, and their wallets were gone. Only the manager remained, and he shook his head, and with sadness in his heart he said,
“Jesus Christ you guys are gullible.”