There once was a young boy who worked in a very large house. The house was grand, and beautiful, and people from all over came to admire the home in which the 3 wise kings lived. Diligo, the servant boy, knew little of the kings, other than that they were always in the tower working very hard, searching the sky for something. Diligo was often the watchman at night, he would fetch water, and food at the request of the wise men late into the evening, and often early into the morning. Working at this time of day was exhausting for Diligo, who was just reaching the tender age of 11, but he knew that the wise men needed him, so he pressed on, often peeling his eyes open at the earliest hours of the morning to grant a certain request.
Days, weeks and months passed slowly it seemed as Diligo stayed up night after night serving the kings as they searched, until one night, the oldest kings came and sat beside him.
"Dear boy," he began, "you work so hard, and you never complain, you must be so tired."
Diligo looked up in confusion,'why is he talking with me in such a way?' he thought.
King Sanctimonia spoke again, "would you like to know what we do at this time of evening?" Diligo quickly smiled and nodded his head, so the king took him up the stairs to the tower where the other two kings sat, charting the stars. Diligo marveled at the maps, and the tools that were strewn across the room. There were fine glass figurines that graced the tables, and crystals that reached taller than he could reach on his tip toes. Never had a servant been allowed in this room til now, and Diligo wondered, 'why would the king bring me here?'
King Sanctimonia reached over to Diligo and pointed his head upward, "Do you see the stars my young friend?" Diligo nodded. "Someday young Diligo a king will be born, not in a castle, but in a stable far, far away. Myself, King Fides, and King Spero are searching for him, so that we may go to him, and worship him. You see, he is no ordinary King, he is the King of all heaven and earth, and only those who are prepared will know him when he comes." King Sanctimonia began to tell stories of the miracles that would be wrought by this baby king to come. He unfolded the salvation that would be available to all people as a result of the sacrifice of the infant, and as he did Diligo felt something swell in his heart. Tears began to flow from the three kings eyes as they opened a book and began to read, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Silence fell over the room as Diligo looked down at the book in front of them, "who wrote this?" he stammered.
King Spero smiled and replied, "A prophet of God. These are the words of heaven, dear friend."
"Why are you sharing this with me? I am but a servant boy, I cannot even read." Diligo sighed while bowing his head. He began to walk quickly to the door as he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Diligo," King Sanctimonia said quietly, "I have searched many days for the young king, but I've grown very old, and will not make the journey far away." He kneeled down to look Diligo in the eye. "I need someone, pure in heart, to go in my place." Silence filled the room as the shocking news penetrated the young Diligo. Was he hearing correctly? Did King Sanctimonia just ask him to take his place? "Diligo, I need someone to take my place, and we know that you are pure in heart. Please, will you help us continue our search of the savior to come?"
Again, silence penetrated Diligo, slowly he bowed his head again, "But sir, I can't even read." he said with a choke in his throat.
The Kings smiled down at him, and with half a laugh, King Fides chuckled, "Now that, we can teach you."
And so the tutoring began. Each day Diligo would work and work, and then at night he would join the kings in the tower, slowly he learned to read the words of the prophet Isaiah. The kings showed him the maps of the stars, and told him the prophecies of the new king to be born. Time passed and Diligo grew in wisdom, knowledge and stature, and eventually, he was crowned a king. Even the servants bowed to him as he walked down the halls. Was it not just a few short years ago that he had been their companions? Were they not his very closest friends and family? Why now did they look at him as if he was a their master, their Lord? Questions burdened King Diligo's mind as he walked up the stairs to the tower that night. What had changed?
As King Diligo entered the tower that night, he slowly searched the stars for some answer to the questions of his soul. 'Is there no peace for my troubled heart?' he pondered. Breaking his train of thought, he heard King Sanctimonia whisper behind him. "Dear boy, the answer you are looking for does not come from the stars. It is time for you to understand one of the greatest gifts we have been given."
This was the time King Sanctimonia had been waiting for, since he had chosen the young man. Carefully they wound down the stairs and through the sitting room, past the kitchen and into the servants quarters. Instantly Diligo recognized where they were. A room made up of a small bed and dresser, with a window on the far wall covered in a dusty curtain. Slowly Diligo walked over, pushing the curtain back to see the starlit sky above. Often he had looked out this window to ponder about the heavens above, and what the wise men were always searching for, and now he knew. He never thought he would be where he was, and yet, somehow it had happened.
"Diligo," King Sactimonia interupted, "You know where you are don't you?"
"Yes." was the only reply the young king could utter. Why was he being brought here? Was this his gift? A dusty room with nothing but a bed and a dresser? He let the curtain drop and turned to face his great mentor. "Why have you brought me here?"
"Young boy, do you not see? You have been given life! But not just life, life with purpose. Look where you began? And look at you now! You are not who you once were. This gift you have is the gift of change." Diligo studied King Sanctimonia. He was exactly the same as he always was, he just wore fancier clothes, and studied with kings, he was still a poor boy, with little to nothing to his name.
"I didn't change, I mean, I didn't do anything to change. You did this, you made me a king!" Diligo argued.
"The knowledge of our Savior, the study of his coming, the testimony that has been built in you, that is what has changed your very nature. We are made of much more then where we can from. We can become anything we want with the help of the Savior to come. Don't you see Diligo? Where we come from, does not determine where we are going. God has given you a gift, one you cannot touch or feel, but one that can only be seen with eyes of wisdom. He has given you agency, you can choose to make your life something grand, but it is your choice." With those words the Old King departed from the room, leaving Diligo in solitude.
Diligo, sat on the dusty bed with his head in his hand. 'It's my choice?' he thought, 'then why did I start in a servants chamber, born to no one, and with no earthly tie or connection? What choice do I have?' Frustration filled his heart as he tried to understand his teacher's great sentiment. He had learned so much, and yet, there was still so many things he didn't understand. He had no fond memory of his past, and yet, somehow he knew there was so much to learn from it.
Slowly he made his way back up to the tower, the servants bowed as he passed, and he paid them no mind, his thoughts consumed him as he reached for the handle to the door leading to the great staircase up the tower. Before the door was completely open a servant girl flew down past him, running as fast as she could. Something was wrong, no one ran like that here.
Swiftly King Diligo moved up the staircase and into the tower, and to his horror, King Sanctimonia lay on the ground, the other two kings kneeling beside him. "Child" came the faint voice. And Diligo drew near. "Child, it is time, I told you I would not make it. It is time..." His breathing grew fainter, and harder. The other kings moved away, and soon it was just the teacher, and his finest pupil left on the floor.
"You're going to be okay..." Diligo tried to reason, but the words felt like vinegar. He had not noticed the dark circles under the eyes of King Sanctimonia before, nor had he ever seen the deep penetrating lines that framed his face.
"Diligo, it is time you took my place. Find him Diligo, find him, and never look back." Diligo held his hand a little tighter. "Remember who you are my friend, you are in good company. Even the King of all Kings will be born in a manger, art thou greater than he?"
The night grew dark, and King Sanctimonia drew his final breathe muttering the word 'remember'. Diligo couldn't move, grief overcame him in a way he couldn't comprehend, and he wanted nothing more than to believe this was only a dream. There was so much he didn't know yet! How was he to go without his mentor?
A voice pierced his grief stricken thoughts, it was King Fides, "It has come! He is come!" Looking up, Diligo saw the two kings huddled at the window. Slowly he rose, and they parted to let him see. There it was. It was so bright, it was so beautiful, and it was actually there. The star had come, and so had the King that was promised with it.
"Well," King Spero proded, "you have a choice don't you? What are we to do?" Diligo looked at him. He knew what must be done.
"Let us go." Diligo instructed. And with that, the wise men knelt to pray, asking God to direct their Journey. Rising from their knees, they left the tower.
Diligo paused to look back at the King, his dearest friend, who lay motionless on the ground with three servants covering him, and preparing him for burial. "Shalom, my friend." He said, and with that, he left to fulfill his promise, and his potential.
Within the hour the three wise men stepped outside to mount their camels. With a wave of their hands, they began their journey, following the star above, never to look back.
To Be Continued...