Jesus once told a story of a wealthy landowner who was preparing for a long journey. He called his three servants and divided his money between them, each according to their ability. To one servant he gave five talents, to a second two, and to a third one. Now a talent was worth 6,000 denarii and one denari was the average pay for a day's labour. So even the servant who was only given one talent had responsibility for a lot of money. But for some reason, each servant was left the responsibility of a greater or lesser amount of the landowner's possessions.
We are born into the river of life on whose current we are carried through this life into the next. The journey may be long – seven, eight, nine, even ten decades - or it may be short, a journey that seems to end before it begins in the case of still birth.
The era into which we are born, the location, the status; these are the givens of life and are not of our choosing. But in living, we do have choices and the choices we make have an effect on life's outcome. They determine what our life will be as well as determining our attitudes toward this life. And our choices will influence those who lives come after us.
Any friendly bears out there?
They were on a military training exercise and they were getting bored. Still, it was surprising when the radio operators of the British divisional command heard a voice one quiet night breaking the silence. The voice asked over the air, "Are there any friendly bears listening?"
After a moment, another voice replied, "Yes, I'm a friendly bear," and then another voice-- "I'm a friendly bear too!"
At this point, the Officer at Divisional Command Headquarters grabbed his microphone and let loose a blistering tirade at the operators for fooling around on an important radio link.
When he had finished, there was silence for about ten seconds.
Then a small voice said, "You're not a very friendly bear, are you?"
I was once told of a person who makes such a point of saying thank you, that every time he writes a cheque to someone, he writes on the bottom of the cheque “Thank you very much!” He began the practice some years ago and continues to this day. I suppose that he wants to become a more thankful person, and this is part of his discipline toward achieving that. Perhaps he once heard a sermon about cultivating an attitude of gratitude. He also realized that we do not often let other people know how grateful we are for what we receive from them. This is one way he tries to let them know.
When he pays the monthly utility bill, he pauses for a moment before doing so to reflect on the many benefits he has enjoyed from the electricity he has received – the convenience of electric lights, the power that runs the furnace, the coffee maker, microwave, vacuum, television. Then he makes out the cheque for the proper amount of the bill and in the space on the bottom of the cheque for indicating its purpose, he writes, “Thank you very much for the electricity!”