Monday, September 6, 2010


The employee walked into the manager’s office, and set the boxes of photocopies on the floor. “There, they are done!” He then started to leave.

The manager stooped to examine a few of the copies, and said, “What’s this? I can’t even read them!”

Then, turning to the employee, he said, “That is totally unacceptable! Unless they make it right, I will never have them do a job for me again!”

“Uh, but they really were not that good to start with,” the employee remonstrated.

“Well, at least the photocopy shop should have refused to do them, or done them without charge. I am not going to let them by with this, they will either refund my money, or do this job completely over”, the manager replied.

Turning to the administrative assistant, he asked for the phone number, and called the manager at the photocopy shop, saying, “You didn’t even try to make them readable, I want my money back, or an honest attempt to make it right!”

The employee found himself thinking, “How do people who wreak havoc, always seem to come out smelling like a rose?” That is opposite to nature!

The employee was in the middle of it, and had not asked to be at all!

A thought came to his mind, “I did not choose to be in this dilemma all by myself. I am just the messenger. After all I am attempting to respond as Christ would have responded. Just maybe He will help!”

A little doubt crept in, but then another thought counteracted, “Don’t be ashamed of the Good News of Christ, trust Him!”

The employee took the order back, and found a place to wait at a nearby coffee shop. The coffee didn't taste good, and no one was friendly. But, as he waited, he was praying that somehow God would make this all turn out for good. A light turned on in his consciousness, “That’s it, the Good News of God's paying the total price for all sin will help this come out alright, somehow.”

It was then that a thought came to him, “Why not check to see how the job is going?” As he did, the young man doing the work, wanted to know what might be acceptable to the manager, knowing that the original was not that good in the first place. The thunderclouds of anger and the poisons of bitterness that had started to fester in his doubting heart, (and stomach), finally started to respond to the “medicine” of praise to God for answers that were beginning to come his way.

Soon, the employee began to think differently about the situation. Does not a mother who has nearly lost her life in the delivery of a child have some “say” in what that child does with their life in the end? Does not God have some “say” in the formation of the character of one who has just trusted God’s son’s death as an opportunity for life change? A person with a servant heart does not bury his talent in the ground, but does what he can with what he has.

Jesus told the story of a manager who had negotiated a wage with those who had come early in the day, and had simply told those hiring in at the last minute, that he would pay them what was right. When he decided to pay them all the same, he was accused of being unfair. His answer was simply, “Does not a manager have the right to be good when he chooses to pay for a given service? Both of you got what you negotiated for.” Those who had arrived early, were more interested in themselves, than they were in the manager. Those who came late, were willing to help regardless of the outcome. (Matthew 20:15)

The manager appeared cruel in sending the employee back, but in reality saved face for everyone, and allowed everyone to give decent service for an expected wage, by learning to give all of one’s expectations to God, and then asking for His Grace in time of need. (Psalm 62:5)

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