Tag Archives: beggar

Pay A Compliment to God

Story of the Day for Saturday January 28, 2012

Pay a Compliment to God

              Let us boldly approach the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find gracious help in our time of need. 

                                                      Hebrews 4:16

 

In the 1960s the Hewlett-Packard company was known world-wide for its innovation in electronics.

One night one of the company founders, Bill Hewlett, got a phone call at his home in Palo Alto. An 8th grader was working on a school project and asked Mr. Hewlett if he could have some spare parts to build a frequency counter.

Bill Hewlett not only talked to this young man for twenty minutes, but personally gathered the requested parts. And to top it off, he offered the student a summer job working in the Hewlett-Packard department that assembled frequency counters.

That student, who had the audacity to phone one of the titans of the electronics industry, was Steve Jobs — one of the founders of Apple computers. Jobs often reflected on that day when he called the legendary Bill Hewlett. Steve Jobs was obviously brilliant, but prefers to attribute his astonishing success to his boldness in asking others for what he needed. Most people, he observed, would never pick up the phone.

 

To make requests of famous and influential people seems presumptuous. Who do we think we are, anyway? Most of us feel unworthy to ask things of great people. And we have it exactly right: we are unworthy.

But focusing on who we are misses the point. The question is not whether we deserve the attention of influential people, but whether those influential people are willing to give us of their time.

This issue of unworthiness can seep into our attitude about prayer. Have you ever failed to ask God for great things because you felt you didn’t deserve to make such an audacious request of the almighty God?

If we only ask the Lord for the things we deserve, we will ask him for nothing.

 

But all this misses the point of prayer. God invites us to boldly ask for the moon. Our prayers should never be based on our worthiness, but on God’s wild generosity.

 

In the sixteenth century, Sir Walter Raleigh was a frequent visitor in the Royal Court of England. He made numerous requests to Queen Elizabeth.

Once, after approaching her Majesty with yet one more request — this one on behalf of a friend — the Queen sighed in exasperation.

“When, Sir Walter, will you cease to be a beggar?”

Raleigh quickly replied, “When your gracious Majesty ceases to be a benefactor.”

 

St. Theresa of Avila had it right when she said, “You pay God a compliment by asking great things of him.”

                                                   (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

The Value of Leaping and Dancing

Story of the Day for Saturday July 2, 2011

The Value of Leaping and Dancing

 

                                                               Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have I give to you In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 

                                                          Acts 3:6

 Doug Storer, in his book, Amazing But True Facts, writes about the sinking of the Dutch steamship, Tambora, in May, 1901. When the ship hit a reef and sank near a small island in the East Indies, the island natives rowed to the wreckage to salvage what they could find.

A Chinese merchant, who made regular trading visits, visited the area a few months later. The merchant met a native who wanted to buy a needle and thread and offered to trade a large fishbone for them. The Chinese trader had no interest in buying a fishbone, but the native was so insistent that the merchant finally agreed to examine the fishbone which the man had in his hut.

The native only had a fishbone to trade because, unfortunately, he arrived late on the scene of the sunken Dutch steamship and all the valuable items had already been taken. All he found was a box of brightly colored paper.

When the trader stooped into the man’s hut to see his fishbone, he could hardly believe what he saw: insulating his hut, the native had plastered $40,000 in Dutch banknotes to his walls.

 

One of the biggest challenges of life is sorting out the relative value of things. Bill Hybels, in his book, Honest to God?, cites a study in which college freshman, in 1967, were asked whether it was more important to be well-off financially or to discover a meaningful philosophy of life. The vast majority chose a meaningful philosophy of life. By 1986, however, eighty percent said it was more important to be well-off financially.

 

In Proverbs it says that God’s wisdom is more valuable than rubies. All the same, just about everyone would prefer to be foolish and wealthy – which (I must be stern here) – is foolish.

If you amass enough rubies you can buy cool stuff like a white truffle from Tuscany or a riding lawnmower. And God doesn’t have a problem with rubies. He really doesn’t. Material things only become a curse when we cherish them above gifts of greater value.

 

A beggar spotted Peter and John as they were entering the gateway into the temple. The beggar didn’t get what he wanted, but was given more than he could have dreamed. He was thinking about a fishbone but was about to discover the Dutch treasury.

A silver coin does have value, but not as much as the ability to leap and dance in the temple court.

                                                (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)