Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
An old Arabic tale tells us the sad story of the janissary of the sultan from Baghdad. One day the young janissary threw himself full of sadness at the feet of his master, who loved him dearly, asking him to borrow him his wonderful horse that ran as if flying, so fast he was.
”Why?” the sultan asked him.
”I saw death in the garden and she beckoned me.” ”With your horse I will be able to run to Bassra and hide in the fair from that place.” ”In this way death won’t reach me.”
The sultan gave him his horse and the janissary left galloping at highest speed.
The sultan went down in the garden and saw death standing there waiting.
”Why did you threaten my janissary?” he asked her.
”But I did not threaten him at all”, the death answered.
”I just raised my arm, surprised.” ”I wondered: How could he be here when I have appointment with him in five hours in the fair from Bassra.
Sometimes we truly believe that we could fool death, running here and there. Many times the man behaves childishly when confronted with death and the fear to shake hands with eternity reveals his nothingness and helplessness. How many people seem so brave when they are healthy and everything goes well in their lives, they are like flying dragons in the heights of the sky and show off their bravery. But when an event of their life makes them face death, they prove their total cowardice and lack of courage.
For the true Christians death is only a passing to the eternal bliss.