Single act may impact many folks

5/2/2006

The Storyteller
By the Rev. Huey Wood

The story is told about a certain preacher who had an early morning speaking engagement and was running late. He came to the place where he was to cross Main Street, but, lo and behold, there was a major traffic jam caused by a circus parade.

He knew that he didn’t have time for the whole parade to pass and get to his appointment on time. He thought he remembered reading that there were 14 elephants in the circus, so he counted them. Ten, 11, 12, 13, 14… He had to come from behind a truck. After 14, he gunned the gas pedal and hit another elephant broadside and killed it.

The circus manager came run-ning out and said, “You’ve killed my elephant.”

The preacher, still in a hurry, said, “Tell me how much I owe you, let me pay and leave.”

The manager said, “$4,000.”

The preacher couldn’t believe it. “For one elephant?” he said.

“Yes, but you’ve pulled the tails off 12 others and they are expensive to have fixed,” the manager said.

Yes, this is a crazy story, but the principles are as true as life. It is rare for us to do something that stops at the act. The deed or the word goes on and on and can be hurtful to a lot of people.If we say something bad about one person, the hurt doesn’t stop with him but goes on to hurt the friends and loved ones as well.

If we could just realize that when we are careless in our relationships with people, it is possible for that deed or word to last a long, long time and can be very expensive to fix.

Do you suppose this is why Jesus had so much to say and teach us about the importance of being kind and tenderhearted and to refrain from run-ning rough shod over the weak? He taught that such things as honesty, kindness and loyalty are so important to the things we accomplish in this short time we have on this earth.

“Be ye kind and tenderhearted to one another.”

Prayer: Father, help us know that your love is great. Amen.

©2002 Huey Wood