A Modern Parable
In a modern parable, the story is told of a community of people who lived on a stretch of dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occurred. Eventually, some of the townspeople decided to put some time and effort and money into a rescue operation. A small life-saving station was built and the devoted members of the rescue team kept an ongoing watch over the sea, ready to use their little boat to search for survivors in case of a shipwreck. As the result of this volunteer operation, the town became famous because of the many lives that were saved.
More and more people joined and became part of the team. Soon a new building was erected. It was much larger than the first little building and it was beautifully furnished and decorated. And as more and more amenities were added for the members’ pleasure and comfort, the new building was slowly transformed into a kind of clubhouse. As a result, some of the members began to lose interest in the rescue operation.
But then a shipwreck occurred and many survivors were rescued and brought into the clubhouse for first aid. During the period of the operation which lasted for several days, the frenzied activity caused the attractive “clubhouse” to be considerably marred by such things as bloodstains on the lush carpeting. At the next meeting there was a split in the membership. Most members felt that the life-saving operation was a hindrance to the social life of the organization. Those who disagreed were told that they could build another little station further down the coast. And, as the years went by, history continued to repeat itself. Today, so the story goes, that seacoast has a number of exclusive clubhouses dotting the shore —but no one in the area seems to be concerned with rescue operations.
(From HOMILETICS, July-Sept., 1991, Page #22)