Nov 13th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Inspirational Parable for Difficult Times

The following is a modern parable by the Rev. T.O Wedel, at one time Warden, College of Preachers, Washington Cathedral, Washington D.C.

“On a dangerous sea coast where shipwrecks often occur there was once a crude little life saving station.  The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves they went out day or night tirelessly searching for the lost.  Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station, so that it became famous.  Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its work.  New boats were bought and new crews were trained.  The little life-saving station grew.

Some of the new members of the life saving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and so poorly equipped.  They felt that a more comfortable building should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea.  So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in an enlarged building.   Now the life-station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they re-decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely, because they used it as a sort of club.  Less of the members were now interested in going to sea on life saving missions, so they hired life boat crews to do this work.  The life saving motif still prevailed in the club decoration, however, and there was a liturgical live saving boat in the room where club initiations were held.  About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crew brought in boat loads of cold, wet and half drowned people.  They were dirty and sick and some  of them had black skin and some had yellow skin.  The beautiful new club was considerably messed up.  So the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of the shipwrecks could be cleaned up before coming inside.

At the next meeting, there was a split in the club membership.  Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s life saving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club.  Some members insisted upon life saving as their primary purpose and pointed out that  they were still a life saving station.  But they were finally voted down  and told that if they wanted to save the lives of all the various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own live saving station down the coast.  They did.

As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old.  It evolved into a club, and yet another life saving station was founded .  History continued to repeat itself, and if you visit that seacoast today you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore.  Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown!

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