Friday, May 16, 2008
A Barn Full
By Marcia Lee Laycock
My daughter just sent me an email - it was one of those forwarded, forwarded, forwarded things, which I ordinarily don’t like receiving. But this one was intriguing. It was the story of a man who purchased a piece of property for half its value. The property had been hard to sell because it had an ugly barn on it with a huge steel door welded shut. When the man took possession of the property he immediately got a grinder and opened the doors on the barn. What he found inside no doubt made his heart beat a little faster. It was full of old vintage cars, worth over thirty-five million dollars!
That man took a chance – he could have ended up with a barn full of worthless widgets, or something more disappointing. But the risk paid off. What intrigued me about this story is why so many people were unwilling to take the same chance. What held them back?
Perhaps it has something to do with the glass half full image – perhaps all those other people who looked at the barn envisioned all the disagreeable and inconvenient things that could be inside it. Perhaps they looked at that barn and thought about animals and what they produce. Perhaps they looked at those steel doors and just couldn’t be bothered trying to figure out a way to open them. Pity. They could have been the recipients of a storehouse of treasure.
Sometimes Christians miss out in this same way. We look at the “barn” of involvement in other people’s lives, of loving our neighbours as ourselves, of following Jesus in obedience and humility, and we think it all involves too much risk. We aren’t sure what will happen when we open those doors. It takes a little too much work and it could be pretty messy inside. So we walk away. Pity. We’re missing the treasure of being blessed. You see it’s through some of these hard and messy things that God teaches us about Himself and teaches us about the joy of serving. It is through obedience that God leads us closer to Himself. And there, indeed, we will find a storehouse of treasure – a more clear understanding of His character and His deep love for us.
Failing to trust God and take the risk of obedience means we may miss the indescribable joy of hearing Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). So the next time you’re looking at a barn full of unknowns, go ahead. Open those doors.