One of the main attractions in the book ARAM is the characters. Though it is set in the time of "long ago and far away" they seem somehow like someone you might actually know. Perhaps, even at times, a little bit like you own self.
The character of Aram is a clan leader who is worried about the safety of his people (They are being pursued by merciless enemy.) but he isn't sure exactly where to go or what to do about the problems he faces. In fact he would prefer to let everyone do their own thing but for the fact that the people in his clan tend to be an argumentative lot and they can't seem to make any productive decisions without a strong personality to guide them. So Aram guides them knowing all the while that he is hardly endowed with the great wisdom needed to make pefect decisions all the time. Even as he deals with his own limitations he has to handle challenges to his authority in the form of a much younger man, Barak, who thinks Aram has passed his prime and is too weak to face the dangers that are rising. Aram thinks Barak is a young man with too little experience and too much bravado which is pretty near the truth. Barak is about to go through an ordeal which changes his perspective dramatically but more on that later. At the same time Aram still deals with the loss of his first wife and baby as well as the haunting question as to what ever happened to them. Where did they go when they died exactly? This generation lived before the covenant of Abraham and man's understanding of God is still rather vague. But Aram is open to the concept of a single good God who cares for the lives of men and when he is encouraged to accept this hope he finds that though he still has to face struggles in his daily life he also reaps the benefit we all receive when we enter into a personal relationship with our Creator. Suddenly the burdens he bears are not quite so heavy for he realizes he is just a temporary leader of men who will be relieved of his burden in due time and that he is not alone in his struggle to do what is right. He is guided through the movements of his heart and by the understanding (though limited) of his mind.
It is like that with us all. We start out thinking we own the world only to find out that there is a whole lot we don't know and yet we are put in charge of things and people and what we do will make a difference in the world and sometimes - if we are really honest- this worries us. But as Aram realized even in that dark time before God had fully revealed Himself, yet even then, God was knowable. God has never abandoned man-kind and He never will. In our turning to him as individuals we grow in relationship to our greatest friend and guide and we are helped in the many decisions of our days.
Sometimes it is easier to see through the struggles of another (even a character in a book) to realize what mountains we climb every day trying to become better people and survive the realities of our times. But in imagining how hard our ancient ancestors might have had to struggle so we are transported through generations in our own quest - to know, to love and to serve that same God who made us all.
Aram is just one of the main characters in the book ARAM and by taking a closer look at them we can ponder some of our own struggles. For Aram, as well as for us today, the reality is very comforting - we are never left to wander this earth in aimless confusion for we are never really alone - God our Father has always been with us. If we but follow Him.