A Modern Day Fable

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Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there lived a man. Though this man lived in this world, he was not of this world, for he talked of a kingdom far away which he longed for, and this mans ways were alien to all those who lived around him.
They were perplexed that he didn’t seem to care about or take pride in his appearance. He would often show up at various community functions with his clothes wrinkled and covered in grass and grease stains. Sometimes he even had grime on his hands and face! Yet, little did they know that he would leave his house clean and well groomed. Though that wouldn’t stop him from climbing under the engine of a single mothers car stuck on the side of the road, or changing a tire for an elderly gentleman. When ever or where ever he saw a need he would fulfill it, without giving it a second thought.
Because this man was often late and running desperately behind, people would often jump to the conclusion that he was careless, disorganized, and self-centered. Yet they were clueless to the fact that the reason for his tardiness was that he always put others needs before his own needs and considered people far more important than the trivial things on his to-do list.
This man always wore a generous smile, displaying teeth that looked like they haven’t been cleaned in years. Not long ago he had managed to save enough money to go to the dentist. Before the day of his appointment had arrived, the Lord brought to his attention a relative who was suffering greatly with an abscessed tooth. How could he spend his hard earned money on something purely cosmetic when another of God’s children were experiencing such pain and suffering? ” Now I know why the Lord has led me to make this appointment”, he thought,” or who knows how long their suffering would have been prolonged.” So he cheerfully took them to the dentist in his place.
His neighbors cringed at the sight of his property, clearly he was white trash. He didn’t have a perfect manicured lawn like everybody else. Sometimes two or more weeks would go by before he would mow his yard! The truth was that he considered fixing this ones refrigerator or that ones washing machine far more pressing than a well kept lawn, which would still be there when he finally did get around to it.
The sight of his lawn was nothing compared to all the broken down cars in his yard. It was starting to look like a junkyard over there! But not to the people who those cars belong to, to them it looked more like heaven on earth. Where else could they go on their limited budgets to get their cars running again, without a car to get to work they would surely lose their jobs. They couldn’t afford to pay for labor, they were lucky to come up with the money they needed for the parts.
The neighbors observed that the mess didn’t stop there either. All the stuff in his workshop and garage were continually spilling out all over the place, he must not care very much about his things. Well, they got that much right anyway. Things were only as important to him as to how they helped him serve peoples needs. Besides, the needs never ended, aren’t you supposed to clean up when the work is done? Also I suppose that considering all the gifts and talents that God has bestowed on him, it would be unreasonable to expect God to have given him organizational skills as well.
People would often shake their heads and roll their eyes in disdain, because he neglected to provide his family with modern securities like insurance. When questioned he would offer up some excuse about how he didn’t put his trust and confidence in institutions, but in the unfailing faithfulness of his creator, who cared for all of his needs. How foolishly naive is that, they would muse.
One would think that at his age he would have enough foresight to hoard money into a savings account, for what is sure to be an uncertain future. Yet he would say that he stores all his treasures in heaven, where they are eternally secure. The people figured he was in for a rude awaking one day, for sure.
There were days when he didn’t even know where his next meal was coming from! The people had never witnessed such blatant irresponsibility before, and he didn’t even have the decency to be ashamed. He would just smile and say, “The lord will give me this day, my daily bread. Besides, I have bread that you don’t know about, It is doing the will of my father in heaven.”
Yet the thing that chaffed the people the most was the fact that this man acted as though he were the richest, happiest, most successful person in the world. How this man could spend all his time doing trivial, menial tasks, and have the audacity to walk around as though he were a child of the king they just couldn’t understand. You see, though he was extremely intelligent and also very educated he never got offended when people treated him like a servant. To him it was alright, because he was a servant. He was a servant of the most high God, and he knew that whatever he did for the least of these, he was doing for Christ.
Now like every good fable, there is a moral to this story as well. The moral here is; ” Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seem to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men…” [1 Cor. 3:18-21]
“…You are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:15] “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” [I Cor. 4:5]
“Who are you that judge another man’s servant? to his own master he stands or falls. Yes, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand.” [Romans 14:4] “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are you that judge another?” [James 4:12]
“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” [I Cor. 4:2] ” …Yes, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care on Him; for He cares for you.” [I Peter 5:5-7]
“I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.” [Romans 12:1-3]

“So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that has showed no mercy; and mercy rejoices against judgment. What does it profit, my brothers, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” [James 2:12-14]

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