Sign of the Bronze Serpent
The Sign of the Bronze Serpent
an allegory written by Dr. Al Rohrer
I was an insecure young man standing in front of my home. “What shall I do? Where shall I go on my life’s journey? I have a mission that compels me to leave my home and make my mark in life.”
Shortly I came upon three huge men: Old Ways, Stagnancy and Comfort. “Where are you going?” Comfort asked. “To see my fortune,” was the answer. “What! and leave your beautiful home? Nonsense, go back,” he replied. “Stay where you are. No need to leave,” said Stagnancy.
Doubt and Indecision then joined the first three. Five men were now blocking the way. They shouted, “It’s tough out there, you’ll never make it!”
“Well, perhaps you are right. One against five. Maybe I should go back to my old patterns of thinking.” But wait! There’s Moses. “Moses!” I shouted.
Moses answered, “Son, I had doubts and was undecided too when the Lord called me to leave my father-in-law Jethro and his sheep. ‘Why should I go to Egypt?’ I protested. Besides, I wasn’t a speaker and did not feel qualified.”
Out of the corner of my eye to the left I saw a sixth man, Self-effacing joining the others. Moses continued, “When I approached the Red Sea with my people I had to pray and trust that the Lord would lead me out of the land of slavery.”
Now Prayer and Trust came from behind the six men. They reminded me of David when he took on Goliath with his slingshot. All at once Prayer and Trust overpowered the six demons who were holding me back. The path was opened, I had made my first step and walked past the wretches who were lying defeated on the ground. I was in awe of the great power of Prayer and Trust in the Lord. The six were not dead; however, they will still be there to stop anyone who wants to get out of entrapment.
The path looks clear ahead. Hmm, the ground is not as solid as I thought. My legs are sinking into the mud. I can’t move.
On the other side of the swamp were two slimy characters — Twins: Fear and Worry. Fear called out, “Do not even try to cross the swamp. Can’t you see the trouble ahead? It’s all unknown territory.” Worry shouted, “Please consider your family back home. Go back! You need them.” Then he added, “You’re sure to break a leg and there are poisonous snakes in the swamp.”
Coming up behind the twins I saw King David carrying a staff. No, it was a log. I heard him reciting the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
As he said this, he threw the log close enough to me so that I could step on it and walk across the swamp. I almost lost my balance, when Fear shouted “Halt!” but Fear is hollow and only in the imagination. I felt weak but also proud that I was able to tell Worry and Fear to “get lost.” There may be further encounters with them along the way, but I can always call on the Universal Laws whenever courage and strength are needed.
King David was gone now, if he or Moses ever existed. The road to enlightenment was certainly not going to be easy. However, I was determined and pleased that I had known Discipline in my childhood. That old friend helped me to use my will to go on.
Next there was a group of snakes across the pathway ahead. Conscious Ego was the leader with all sorts of followers: Pride, Selfishness, Greed, Prejudice, Gossip, Hatred, Jealousy and Blame, all hissing.
Fear,and the thought of going back flashed through my mind, but having come this far…
Having lived with snakes all my life, I never really paid much attention to them. It seemed as if they were part of me. It was great sport and often lifted my ego when Blame could be used to cover my mistakes, or Gossip resorted to belittling everyone else. Prejudice toward Jews or blacks made me fit in with society, and Jealousy was a motivator to outdo others.
Thinking back, I was not really happy with those snakes. They often bit me. There was an inner feeling that something was wrong. The snakes had kept me from growing and moving forward, and I was not getting any younger.
In the distance Moses was raising up a bronze serpent on a pole. The Israelites were blaming him for bringing them out into the desert with its wretched food and lack of water, “In punishment the LORD sent among the people seraph serpents which bit the people so that many of them died. Then the people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a seraph and mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover.’ Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered.”
Above the bronze serpent there was a blazing sign: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all else shall be added unto you”
Perhaps Moses was telling his people to use their creative energy for a higher purpose, to stop complaining and reach for the Kingdom of Heaven. Now I could walk through the myriad of snakes, just keep my eyes on the bronze serpent and go forward.
Continuing on, I saw a mountain. On the bottom of the mountain, close by, were four wildcats, Deceit, Pretense, and Falsehood and Ignorance, all snarling, to indicate that my journey was to stop here. Since all problems have a solution I started the climb, and there was Jesus on top of the mountain talking with some Jews. “ ‘If you live according to my teaching, you are truly my disciples; then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
“ ‘We are descendants of Abraham,’ was their answer. ‘Never have we been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, you will be free?’
“Jesus answered them; ‘I give you my assurance, everyone who lives in sin is a slave of sin. No slave has a permanent place in the family, but the son has a place there forever. That is why if the son frees you, you will be really free.’ (John 8:31-36)
Those men did not want to hear the truth. Well, there have been many times when I too did not want to hear the truth.
There was a loud thump. Looking to the right I saw double-edged sword labeled Truth close by my hand. I understood why Jesus threw the sword to me. Knowing the truth that GOD IS MY FATHER I am truly set free.
Taking Truth in my right hand, I slew the wildcats and climbed the mountain to meet Jesus.•
©2001 Vol. 19 No. 1
Rev. Dr. Al Rohrer (above) has devoted his life to helping people. A retired pharmacist, Dr. Al is active in his church, teaches Sunday school and Bible study to preteens and ministers to prison inmates. He earned a Doctorate of Metaphysics and Doctorate in Divinity from the School of Metaphysics. Here he references the Bible including Exodus 3, Num. 21: 4-9, Matt. 6:33, and John 8:31-36.
copyright 2002 School of Metaphysics