In Ann Nolan Clark's simple but thought provoking children's story, Secret of the Andes, we read of young Cusi, son of the nobility of the ancient Incas's, as he helps Chuto, keeper of the royal llamas, guard and protect the flock. Searching his heart and the secrets of his life, he comes to accepting his destiny, his calling. Cusi vows with words that that cut themselves into his heart until life's end, to keep the royal llama flock intact, breeding them with wisdom, tending them with knowledge, giving them out with judgment and then someday, guiding, training and protecting a new shepherd to take over when he himself will rest in the place of the ancients. His religion becomes his life and his life becomes his religion.
Listen as Cusi for the first time, goes to greet the sun god, as a child of the sun.
Cusi wakened to the sound of llama-humming. Such a beautiful sound, he thought, even more beautiful than the music the minstrel blew on his Pipes of Pan....The llamas stopped humming. Chuto was coming among them. He was greeting them in the Indian way. He was telling them that the new day was with them, that they must be up to graze the ychu grass. He came to where Cusi lay snug and warm with his black head cradled in Misti's long black hair.
"This is a new day for you, too, Cusi," Chuto said to the boy. "Today you will come with me to greet the sun." Cusi leaped to his feet, startling Misti with his quick jump. He had wanted many times to go with Chuto into the gray dawn to greet the sunrise. Chuto always before had refused him. He had said, "Not this day. The time has not come." But today it had come. Cusi lost no time in following the old Indian through the flock of resting llamas, across the meadow of ychu grass to the far end of the valley.
The morning was cold with the coldness of before dawn. It was gray with the grayness of before dawn. It felt unfriendly because the world had not yet wakened to make it happy with living things.
Chuto was a dark shadow moving in the gray shadows. Cusi followed him swiftly lest he become lost in the earth clouds that billowed around them.
When they reached the far side of the meadow Chuto turned abruptly into a path between two stunted, twisted trees. Cusi had not been here before because he had not thought that the twisted trees were sentinels to a secret trail. At once the path led downward, steeply downward. It turned and curved and circled among the giant boulders of a canyon wall. Cusi was panting now, partly from excitement and a little from fear of the dark shadows and misted forms and the unsure footing of the unfamiliar secret trail. Suddenly his feet felt firm rock beneath them. He knew he was standing on cold rock steps and then that slowly, carefully, gropingly he was climbing down, climbing down, climbing down.
Suddenly he had reached the bottom. The trail now led through a narrow, deep-walled canyon. A few more steps and they came to the end of the trail. It was brighter now. Cusi looked around, stunned with delight. He and Chuto were standing on a flat tablelike rock of pure white marble. Around them was a circle of tiny trees, gnarled and old and growing huddled together, guarding their secret. Beneath the marble rock lay, quiet and still and dark and deep, a pool of night black water. There was no sound. There was no movement. No wind blew through the twisted, tangled branches of a tree. No bird chirped its morning prayer. No twig broke beneath the fleet foot of a running fox. No wavelet rippled in the somber pool. Chuto turned to face the eastern sky that arched above the dwarfed tree tops. He waited. Cusi waited. The whole world waited.
Slowly the gray sky turned silvery blue, then golden yellow, then flaming red. The sun, a giant ball of fire, rose in majesty. Chuto raised his arms and chanted his sunrise call as Indian men have chanted since the world was made and the Inca was born. His words rose skyward, word upon word upon word. The world stayed still to listen.
"O Sun! Great Father of the Inca
who have gone before us.
Great Father of the children of the Inca
who remain in this world.
Forget us not though we are few in number.
Forget us not though our ancient greatness
is now but a shadow
in the memory of man
Forget us not though our ancient pride
is as the dust of the earth
blown before the willful wind."
"O Sun! Great Father of the Inca!
Shine in thy glory upon us in safety.
Shine in thy glory upon us in peace.
Shine in they glory upon us in wisdom.
Keep our minds clear in thy light.
Keep our hearts young in thy warmth.
Keep our feet straight in thy path,
for we are thy children,
O Sun! O Sun!
Great Father of the Inca."
Chuto finished his chanting. The sun had risen...."Come, Cusi, We go back the way we came. There is but one trail here."
Such anticipation!! The coming of each new day for these ancient people, pointed to their God and gave them each and every day, an opportunity to declare who they followed! The coming of the sun brought warmth, beauty, familiarity and purpose to their lives. Such thoughtful people like Cusi and Chuto will always seek and find truth for themselves but there will be some things always beyond their obtaining.
We worship an ancient God who "long ago even before He made the world, loved and chose us in Christ, to be holy and without fault in His eyes." (Eph. 1:4) In the small village of Bethsaida, many years later, Jesus said to his disciples, "Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you. (John 15:16) Paul in his letter to the Ephesians emphasizes, "for He chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as He decided long ago." (Eph. 1:11) What was significant about Him choosing us? What difference did that make in the unfolding of His plan? Please join me in my next post as we consider how having been chosen, should revolutionize our lives, our world...and point to who we are in Christ...each...new...day.
Let us anticipate our God and be ready to follow.