One night a religious man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with his god.
He chanced to look up and across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
In each scene he saw an expanse of sand with two sets of footprints
tracked across it, one set belonging to him, and the other to this god.
Then scenes flashed of solitary tracks across the sand and he
realized that these were scenes of him walking alone,
without his companion god.
He also noticed that these solitary travels always involved
the lowest and saddest events of his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned his god about it:
“God of mine, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk
with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most trouble-filled
times in my life, there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why you would leave me during the times I needed you most.”
In this dream, his god replied:
“My son, my precious child, you ever want someone all-powerful to love
and serve you, to never leave you, but during extreme trials and suffering,
you depended on yourself because those were times when you most
needed to succeed.”
“You saw only one set of footprints then because you could
afford no failure from an invisible friend:
You carried yourself.”
The man awoke suddenly, began to feel guilt then laughed it off
and eased back into a comfortable sleep.
(Apologies, insincerely meant, to Mary Stevenson)