Who is the King of Your Castle

by | Aug 15, 2023

“Character Castle is our anecdotal approach to understanding character, speaking about character, teaching character, and counseling about character”
– Paul Richardson


At the beginning of each school year, MSI leaders in Indonesia choose a theme that is disseminated to all 74 educational sites. This school year’s theme is “Castle.” To help convey this theme, MSI International Director, Paul Richardson, wrote the following short story:

There once was a king who owned a magnificent castle. It was meant to be a place of love, celebration, and freedom. Farmers who lived in the countryside were promised that if there were a threat, they could run to the castle for safety. But this promise faded long ago. No one felt safe coming near the castle. The king lived friendless and depressed. The problem was inside. Deep in the foundation there was a dark dungeon where there lived three dangerous trolls. The trolls hated the king. Their goal was to steal his life. Occasionally they crept up the steps into the king’s living space. Hearing their steps, he ran to hide in one of the three towers.

One day a wise man knocked on the castle door. The king invited him in. The wise man asked the king why he was so miserable. The king whispered that he was being terrorized by three trolls in the dungeon. “Why don’t you just slay them?” the man asked. The king said, “I don’t know how.” The wise man explained that to kill the trolls he had to learn their identities. Trembling, the king crept over to the top of the the dungeon steps. He shouted, “Trolls! What are your names?”

A troll’s voice rumbled up the steps, “I am BROKENNESS.” Then the second troll growled, “I am SELF ABSORPTION.” The third troll thundered, “I am LAZINESS.”

The wise man turned to the king and said, “Now that you know who is terrorizing you, you can select the right weapons. Not just any sword will kill a troll.” The king asked, “How do I know which kind of sword will kill these trolls?” “I am a sword craftsman and I have brought you the weapons that you need.

To slay BROKENNESS you must use this silver sword. Picking up the beautiful sword, the king noticed three words engraved on the blade. GRATITUDE. WHOLENESS. GENEROSITY. Then he gave a golden sword to the king. “This sword will slay SELF ABSORPTION.” The king held it and read the words. HUMILITY. INTEGRITY. COURAGE.

Finally, the man brought out a platinum sword. He said, “With this you will have the power to slay LAZINESS.” The king took the third sword in his hand and read the words. FAITHFULNESS. RESILIENCE. WISDOM.

Friends, our greatest enemies are not external. They are inside. Will we go down into our own hearts and fight the battles needed to build a beautiful life? That is the challenge before us. Please pray for this theme to transform all of us, from inside out.