Written by cycleguy on September 18th, 2016

My next couple of days will be filled with various meetings plus a visit to the friendly, neighborhood hospital for a procedure on Tuesday so I thought I would give you a general post to consider. I used this illustration Sunday to close my message on Compromise.

The old gentle man had been hired many years earlier by a young town  council to clear away the debris from the pools of water that fed the  lovely spring flowing through their town. With faithful, silent  regularity he patrolled the hills, removed the leaves and branches, and  wiped away the silt from the fresh flow of water. By and by, the village became a popular attraction for vacationers. Graceful swans floated  along the crystal clear spring, farmlands were naturally irrigated, and  the view from restaurants was picturesque.

Years passed. One evening the town council met for its semiannual  meeting. As they reviewed the budget, one man’s eye caught the salary  figure being paid the obscure keeper of the spring. Said the keeper of  the purse, “Who is the old man? Why do we keep him on year after year?  For all we know he is doing us no good. He isn’t necessary any longer!”  By a unanimous vote, they dispensed with the old man’s services.

For several weeks nothing changed. By early autumn the trees began to shed their leaves. Small branches snapped off and fell into the pools,  hindering the rushing flow of water. One afternoon someone noticed a  slight yellowish-brown tint in the spring. A couple days later the water was much darker. Within another week, a slimy film covered sections of  the water along the banks and a foul odor was detected. The millwheels  moved slower, some finally ground to a halt. Swans left as did the  tourists. Clammy fingers of disease and sickness reached deeply into the village.

Embarrassed, the council called a special meeting. Realizing their  gross error in judgment, they hired back the old keeper of the spring . . . and within a few weeks, the river began to clear up.

True? I can’t say. Fanciful though it may be, it still tells a great story. The application I leave up to you.


9 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jeff says:

    I don’t know what to take from this other than bad decisions have bad results.

  2. Betty Draper says:

    I just heard a great message on judging this morning. My take on this story, be careful who you deem worthwhile, especially us aged ones. We do have some wisdom.

  3. Rodney Olsen says:

    Moral of the story … never mess with old men. (OK, so maybe that wasn’t the moral of the story.)

  4. Linda Stoll says:

    Every body contributes some significant piece of the puzzle that forms our families, churches, communities.

    I’ve got one of those ‘procedures’ coming up in a week. So, be sure that I’m praying for you even as we speak, Bill …

  5. Ceil says:

    Hi Bill! I think this teaches me that so many people work hard, while not commanding the spotlight. All of our work has value, whether it makes the headlines in the paper or not.

    Good luck on your test tomorrow!

  6. Sharon says:

    What I got out of this is that if we don’t keep clean, Living Water flowing out of our hearts, we’re soon going to be stained and clogged with slimy sin!


  7. Thanks for the random mind candy. Why you make me think?! – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

  8. floyd says:

    My take on it is how much and often we take things for granted. The air we breathe, the protection, provision, they’re all services we take for granted.

    The things we take for granted all come from the action of Someone, the perpetual motion that supplies life is one of the biggest.

    It’s good to take that wisdom and use it in all matters in life.

  9. TC Avey says:

    It’s amazing how we often overlook or take things/people for granted.
    Example: bathrooms. People often don’t appreciate a clean bathroom until they have to use one that is dirty.
    Years ago I visited a church and I remember walking into their bathroom and thinking it was one of the cleanest I had ever seen. I actually told the preacher of that church I appreciated the clean restroom and asked that he thank the person who cleaned it so well.

    It’s often the little things in life that make the most difference. none of us should ever think we don’t matter because we aren’t famous or rich. Who we are matters. What we do (or don’t do) matters. How we live matters. The decisions we make matter. They mater in our own lives and in the lives around us.