By: Alan Smith
Can we really live a life that is full of joy and excitement, with great anticipation of events that are right around the corner? Life is not to be endured, but enjoyed. The Bible is full of truths that are unbelievable to me; and I am still trying to persuade myself to trust the Bible more each day. Truths of the spiritual world are, at times, opposite of my own selfish thinking. You know, like you go under to go over, or you go down to go up. Our nature is to look after #1: me. Naturally, we are into self-preservation. We are trying to save ourselves in every avenue of life. Here is what Jesus says in Matt 10:39: “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Jesus really wants us to get it.
Not only does He want us to get it, but He also holds the keys for us to get it. His life is the key that unlocks the doors into the spiritual world. Would you be interested in using one of the keys that Jesus holds? Come with me and let’s unlock one: serving others. And remember, Jesus is trying to teach us something here. Matt 20:28: “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." This is the opposite of selfishness. To be selfish is to serve ourselves, not others. Could this be a key that truly unlocks some spiritual door? What if we tried this? You know, what if we try not to have the need to be served, but instead, we have the desire to serve! I have written a short parable about serving others, entitled “The Parable of the Platform”. Please come with me on this journey!
The Parable of the Platform
Behold, an old prophet, who was also a great master builder, went out to build a platform. His skills and vision, honed sharp by time and experience, were beyond that of most common men. As he began building this platform for the great festival, children began to descend on the grassy knoll at the town-square to observe his work.
The children gazed in amazement as the old prophet whistled while he worked. As he toiled, the sweat would fall from his brow. Yet, he whistled. As he cut the main beam, he whistled. In the midst of his labor, he would back up and take a look at his work. As he looked, he whistled.
Finally the children walked up to him and said, “Why are you so happy when you are working?”
The old carpenter looked at the children and said, “I am happy, for I am building a platform for another to speak upon. Happiness is when you are preparing a secure and safe place on which others will stand and speak.”
The children sat looking into the face of the old carpenter as he told them about the ways of Wisdom. The children asked him, “How can we meet this one called Wisdom?”
The old prophet replied, “My Father sends me Revelation; and when I ask, he gives me Understanding. My Father then told me that when Revelation and Understanding come together, they will begat Wisdom. Wisdom is the fruit from which others can eat and grow and gain strength. It is the way of the Spirit.” The old prophet then took his handkerchief and wiped his forehead.
The children asked him, “Why will you not speak from the platform that you are building? Why do you sweat for another?”
He turned again to the children and said, “Pride is the only one that builds his own platform from which to speak. Pride is also arrogant and is not a good builder. He only sees the crowd, and does not calculate the load. Pride builds a platform that is impressive, but will not hold much weight. Pride also builds with no bracing. When a storm comes the platform will fall. “Pride,” he said, “builds his platform quickly; therefore, it is shaky and unstable in all of its ways.” The old prophet then returned to his work.
The children watched him closely as he took his time to do a work of excellence. After a few hours, the old prophet came over to the children and sat down to rest for a while. The children asked him, “Why do you work so slowly and look at every detail?”
The old carpenter looked at them with the spirit of Wisdom and said, “Wisdom will do for others what he will not do for himself. When Wisdom builds the platform, he builds it safely and securely for others to stand upon. Pride lives for himself; but Wisdom lives for others.” He then stood up and whistled as he gazed at the structure that was emerging from the grassy knoll.
The children then asked him, “Are you not being prideful as you look at what you have performed?”
The old carpenter replied, “No, just honored that my Father called me to be a carpenter in His kingdom.” As night was drawing near, he said to the children, “Return tomorrow as it will be another day in which we can build a platform for another.”
My prayer for us is that we will find great joy and peace in walking in the wisdom of serving others.
May God bless you,