Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Wise Plan for the Future

The following story appeared in the London Times.
A Well-Planned Retirement
Outside the Bristol Zoo, in England, there is a parking lot for 150 cars and eight coaches, or buses.

It was manned by a very pleasant attendant with a ticket machine charging cars £1 (about $1.40Cdn) and coaches £5 (about $7).
This parking attendant worked there uninterrupted for all of 25 years. Then, one day, he didn't turn up for work.
"Oh well,", said Bristol Zoo management, "we'd better phone up the city council and get them to send a new parking attendant."
"Err, no", said the council, "that parking lot is your responsibility."
"Err, no", said Bristol Zoo management, "the attendant was employed by the City Council, wasn't he?"
"Err, NO!" insisted the Council.

Sitting in a villa somewhere on the coast of Spain, is a bloke who had been taking the parking lot fees, estimated at £400 (about $560) per day at Bristol Zoo for the last 25 years. Assuming seven days a week, this amounts to just over £3.6 million ($7 million)!
And no one even knows his name.

(as pointed out by Elsie in the comment section ..this is an Urban Myth but is a good parable none the less)
There is something in that story that brings out in us a grudging admiration for the self-employed parking attendant, isn't there ? Even though what he did was ethically wrong, we have to smile at his resourcefulness!

It reminds me of the parable Jesus told of the unjust steward. The story is found in Luke 16:1-13.
Jesus tells the parable of an unjust steward who was accused of wasting the master's goods. The steward upon being told by his employer that he was fired, immediately had a plan. He quickly went to each of his master's debtors and slashed the amount owing on each of their bills. Knowing, he would soon be without any income, he reasoned that to have people gratefully indebted to him would ensure him of having a roof over his head and food to eat!
The master, when he heard of what his steward had done, commended him for his shrewdness, saying "the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generations than the sons of light".

The point Jesus was making in this parable was that the people of this world are shrewd and single minded in in preparing for their future, while the sons of light are often so concerned with the things of this world that they neglect preparing for the next!

"No man can serve two masters." We cannot have one foot in this world and one in the next... because if we do we will soon find that we cannot serve both and will make our choice as to which we will hate and which we will love! The default is that we will love the world.

Here is a good lesson to be learned from a negative example ..... "Be wise and have a lay-away plan for your eternal future and the things of this world will be taken care of !"


Tammie said...

LOL ... what a resourceful man! But your point is well made ... we should be as diligent in preparing for OUR future and in laying up treasure for our eternity there.

Karin said...

Just sharing this story with my hubby, lol!It is hard to believe that this deception could go undetected for 25 years. It's a good thing God knows all, even if we don't. How many times in life have we been duped by someone who seems legit and paid the price?

Lots of angles to think about here! Great post! Thanks!

Elsie said...

Apparently this story is an urban myth, but a good illustration, nonetheless! It's so easy to get side-tracked from our real purpose here on earth.

Julie said...

Elsie, thank you for pointing out the fact that this in an urban legent... I am ususually so careful to check for authenticity, but this story was sent me as having been taken from the London Times.
I'm sorry I didn't doublecheck!

Marg said...

I was reminded of your first Bible story immediately...
It's unbelievable how someone can live under those kind rules for his life. Resourceful, Yes.
Only if people were not so selfish, this world would be a better place.