Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Little Dash Of Salt Will Do!


This is a short story that I told to the members of Valley Baptist Church of Salinas to help them understand the missional posture that we who are followers of Christ are to have. I pray that it gives you encouragement as well. It is called:

A Little Dash Of Salt Will Do!


“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Matthew 5:13 (NIV)
There’s a story about a young inquisitive man who wanted to understand the meaning for life. He tried different things like reading books and watching movies to discover it but none of them seem to give him a clear understanding of what would be his purpose in life. Then one day he was told about this old sage that live high atop a mountain in one of the far corners of the world. It was said that this sage was very wise and had been able to help many a person in their quest for knowledge and understanding. So the inquisitive man decided that he would make the long journey to this far off corner of the world, climb to the top of this mountain and ask this wise sage, “What is the meaning and purpose of life?”
It took a lot of preparation but finally this inquisitive man was ready to set out on his journey to inquire of the wise, old sage about the purpose of life. After several months of traveling he finally arrived at the monastery where the wise old sage lived. He walked up al long but narrow flight of stairs came up to two huge oak doors and rang a big bell to make known his presence. From around the corner came a small, lean and elderly man. In a very quiet voice he ask, “May I help you?” The young inquisitive man replied, “I have traveled a long distance to speak with the wise old sage that lives here. May I speak to him?” He invited the inquisitive man to come around the corner and then into a very small and humble hut where he asked, “what do you wish to ask of the wise old sage?” “I would like to ask him,’what is the meaning of life and what is the purpose for me living?” The elderly gentleman quietly gazed at the inquisitive man and then walked over to a pile of sacks of salt, picked one up and handed it over to the inquisitive man. “What’s this?” The man asked. That is a sack of salt. Why did you give this to me? Because you wish to know the meaning of life! How does a sack of salt reveal to me the meaning of life? It doesn’t but what you do with it will. I want you to leave this place and go out to where the people live and I want you to find different uses for the salt that help people. Once you have found three different uses then come back and tell me.
The inquisitive man left monastery and climbed down the mountain where he entered the first village that he came along. He thought to himself, “How in the world am I going to be able to use this salt to help other people?” He began to walk around and observe the people who were in village. Many of them were out doing their daily chores. They were buying, selling, and working. But then all of a sudden he saw a store owner of a meat market ranting and raving to one of his employees. The man obviously distressed and concerned about something. So the inquisitive man walked up to the meat market owner and ask him what was wrong and why he so upset. The meat market owner began to tell him how he had left instructions with his employee to get some salt to keep the meat fresh for the day but his employee had forgotten and now the meat was about to rot. In reply the inquisitive man offered to give the meat owner most of the salt in the bag but he would have to keep a little for himself. The owner of the meat market was extremely grateful and offered to pay for the salt but the inquisitive man refused to accept the payment.
Once the inquisitive man had filled a couple of small bags with some salt and had given the remainder of the salt to the owner of the meat market he then set out for the next village. The inquisitive man had learned some things from his first experienced. He learned that in order to know how to use the salt he would have to watch the people to see who may need it. So he once again began observing the people as he was walking through the village. When he came up to one particular house he saw a man sitting down to have a bowl of soup for lunch. The man took a big spoon full of the soup, put it to his lips and began to swallow when all of sudden he spit the soup out and began to make an ugly face. He began yelling and screaming at his wife that the soup was horrible and tasteless. He ordered her to go back into the kitchen and fix him another bowl of soup but this time it better taste good. The wife horrified over her husband’s outburst went back into her kitchen with tears filling her eyes. The inquisitive man went around back of the house and knocked on the back kitchen door. When the wife came to the door he shared with her that he could help notice commotion that had happened between her and her husband. He asked her, “Is there anything I can do to help?” The woman looked at the man with big tears in her eyes and said, “We have had a very hard year and all of our spices are gone and I have nothing to season my husband’s soup. The inquisitive man took out of his pocket some of the salt that he had left and offered it to her to use in her husband’s soup. The woman was extremely grateful and repeatedly thanked him for his generosity. She took the salt put it into the soup and then took it out to her husband who was very pleased with the taste.
Inquisitive Bob then left that town and traveled to the next village along the way. When he arrived he now knew that all he needed to do was to look around at the people in the town and see who might be able to use the remaining salt. As he was walking around he noticed a wedding procession beginning to form. However, the bride was extremely distraught. As he walked closer he could the bride telling her mother that she had nothing that could be used to symbolize purity as she offered herself to her new husband. So the Inquisitive Bob said to the bride, “Where I come from salt often symbolizes purity would this little bit of salt help solve your problem?” The Bride began to smile with the biggest smile that anyone had ever seen and, “yes, oh yes. Salt also symbolizes purity here in our town also. I how much can I pay you for the salt that you have?” Inquisitive Bob would not take any money. He was just extremely happy that he could help someone on their very special day of their wedding.
After Inquisitive Bob had given her the remainder of the salt he then set out to return to the wise old sage back up the tall mountain to the monastery. As he arrived he saw the wise old sage. The sage asked him, “What have you done with the salt that I gave you?” Inquisitive Bob answered, “I saw a man who owned a meat market and had no salt to keep his meat from decaying. So I gave it to him. I saw a woman who had not seasoning to put into her husband’s soup for flavor. So I gave her some. And then I saw a bride who had nothing to use as a symbol of her purity. And so I gave her the last of the salt that I had.” The wise old sage said, “Well done, go on your way and live your life.” However, Inquisitive Bob shouted out, “Wait just one minute! You said that if I would go out and help people with this salt that you would tell the purpose of life! So tell me and make me wait no longer.” The wise old sage looked at Inquisitive Bob and quietly said, “YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH. Now go out and help preserve people’s lives. Go out and be the flavor in other people’s lives. And go out and be a symbol of what a life of purity is like.”
YOU BEING THE SALT OF THE EARTH

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