I never saw him coming, nor was I prepared for the onslaught of adventures that my encounter with the runner would bring. I only remember his enchanting words, his hurried manner and his singleness of purpose as he paused briefly to help me up.
"It's late, so late," he said. "Must hurry and finish, must run. It's so late, so very late. Broad is the way, narrow is the way. Broad - destruction, narrow - must hurry, must continue, got to finish, got to finish."
Still, amidst all this rambling and continuous chatter, with his feet constantly moving, running in place, the runner took time to help me to my feet. Reaching down with his hand he pulled me from the mire and placed my feet on the solid ground.
"Come," he said, "follow. Run the race before it's too late. Hurry, you must run!"
And with that he turned and continued down the narrow road and disappeared into the eternal sunset. The runner was gone.
For the first time in my life I felt there was meaning. My feet ached for action, my heart and mind were filled with a burning desire to follow the runner. I was a changed person and yet I was the same man. Only my position had changed. My feet were now on the solid road, but I didn't know what to do.
In my hand there was a card which had been left by the runner.
One free admittance to the great meet. Free admittance. I did not know what it meant. I had no idea what to do. I only knew that I must find the answer. And so I followed the runner. Followed to find a reason for my new-found feelings -- followed to find the great meet.
My race was on.