Story of the Day for Thursday December 1, 2011
One Missing Crescent Wrench
Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with each other?
When I was young I picked up a couple of hitchhikers. We were driving down a dark, lonely stretch of road when the guy next to me said he was going to kill me. (Not to ruin the suspense or anything, but he didn’t.) They did, however, promise to rob me, and they were faithful to their word. They went through my glove compartment, found nothing memorable, and finally settled on stealing my crescent wrench lying on the passenger side floor.
Whenever we break a promise or betray a trust, we are creating more than a single incident of disappointment for someone. When someone puts their trust in us and we let them down, they now become less likely to trust others.
Have you heard the old story of the Bedouin who was riding his camel through the desert? He came upon a stranger who said he was stranded, and asked if he might be able to ride with him on the camel. The kindly Bedouin was happy to help him out.
They had not ridden long together before the stranger threw the Bedouin off the camel. As the stranger fled on the camel, the Bedouin shouted after him, “I am not so much angry that you stole my camel, as that, from now on, it will be harder for me to help a stranger who is in need.”
As a society, and even more, so as a body of believers, we live in community. Healthy communities are founded on trust. Loren Morse wrote to Reader’s Digest about his friend, David, who moved from the big city to rural Maine. David went to a store to rent a rototiller. He was told the rental fee was not based on how many hours he had the tiller, but on how many hours he actually used it.
David was confused, “How will you know how long I’ve used it?”
Puzzled, the owner said, “You tell me.”
Life is so much more refreshing when we’re are able to trust each other.
Sadly, communities can break down. Every lock you buy testifies to the insecurity we live in when we can no longer trust each other.
We cannot control the climate of the community we live in. But we can influence it. Jesus said, after all, that we are the salt of the earth. You don’t have to trust everyone, but you can become a person others can trust. And even if we have failed to be trustworthy in the past, God’s mercy provides you a new day, and a new start.
And, although I never do it with my wife and kids in the car, and though I don’t commend the practice to others, I still pick up hitchhikers. Helping others get down the road has been well worth the price of one missing crescent wrench.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)