One day a message arrived that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were coming to town and wanted to meet Sam. For some unfathomable reason, they had decided to impart their wisdom and experience. They wanted Sam to be successful. Understandably nervous preparing for the lunch appointment, Sam was able to look beyond the jitters and begin imagining all the good that would be possible when financial success finally arrived. Sam wanted to clothe and feed the poor and orphaned, build that needed wing for the hospital, oh and there was that waitress that was so kind last week – “Just wait until she sees her next tip!” 🙂
The lunch was even better than hoped. Gates and Buffet presented Sam a book containing many of their most profound and closely guarded secrets. They provided information on how to connect with other success-oriented people in the nearby area and even gave their personal cell phone numbers for anytime Sam wanted to talk. They promised to return later to see how things were going.
For the first several days, Sam was on cloud-nine – devouring the book to the exclusion of almost everything else. Favorite television programs and often even eating became unimportant in light of the new knowledge. Sam couldn’t get enough. At the first meeting, there were so many people that wanted to help Sam succeed or just simply be a friend that it was mind-blowing.
As Sam practiced the new found wisdom everything began to change. Sure, finances were better, but it was much more than that. Sam started feeling more positive and even appreciated others more. Close friends began to learn the principles as well, and it was very gratifying to see that the principles worked in their lives as well.
Things were going great for several months but then some of Sam’s friends became very critical, “You have changed, and not in a good way,” “Aren’t you the snooty Gates, Jr.,” “You’re too good for us,” “I tried that stuff but it didn’t work,” “Those people are just using you.”
After several wounds, Sam began to wonder if it was really worth it. Commonality with old friends was diminishing, and less time was available because of the many new commitments. Even family members were complaining and demanding that things needed to “get back to normal.”
Finally, Sam capitulated and went back to the old ways. It was easier and it lessened the conflict. Pulling several all-night Netflix marathons in order to talk about shows at work, it wasn’t long before Sam didn’t even remember what the road to success looked like. The once pristine manual was now dusty, and bent out of shape – stuffed away in a box somewhere. Sam could hardly remember the new friends and even blamed many of them for the troubles.
One day, while Sam was checking mail, Gates and Buffet pulled up in front of the house in a long shiny limousine. Taking a quick glance back at the somewhat worn and tattered dwelling, Sam was embarrassed. So many opportunities had been lost because the cost seemed to great or the road too hard. The choices that seemed so obvious at the time, now seemed immature. Perhaps, Sam could have worked harder to lead others to the better path instead of settling with them on the one that led nowhere.
So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas. Oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths! How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes! Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him; they would be doomed forever. But I would feed you with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.” (Psalms 81:12-16 NLT)
Father, bless our readers today and help them choose the best way – your way. Amen!