Just one more angel story from Sufi (Islamic) wisdom, please. I just cannot help myself. I love these stories.
This story is called "Escaping the Design."
A man who lived in Baghdad once saw the angel of death in the market. It was obvious that the angel of death was staring at him.
"He must have come to take me," the man said to himself. "I must escape!"
And so the man went quickly to the governor's house who was his friend. "You must help me. The angel of death is here in Baghdad. He has come to take me."
The governor said, "How would you like me to help you my friend?"
"Send me, send me away on your fastest horse to Damascus."
And so the governor ordered that the fastest horse in Baghdad was to be given to his friend. In only three days, a record speed, the man arrived in Damascus! No sooner had he arrived, however, than he saw the angel of death near the eastern gate.
"You actually are here," the angel said.
"What could you possibly mean?"
"Well, I was very surprised to see you in a market in Baghdad because I knew that I was supposed to take your soul three days later in Damascus. How you managed to get here this fast is beyond my comprehension!"
Many thanks to the bilingual author, Dr. Omar Imady, who translated them from the original Arabic and published them in a wonderful little book, Metaphors of Islamic Humanism, so an English speaking world can read them.
EM: The man tried to escape his destiny but could not. Predestination is a view held by Sufis and some others. What, if anything, do you think is pre-destined? I had to look up Catholic dogma on that question (obviously, I am still new to Catholicism). I was happy to see that it did not depart from my own understanding.