On How We Do Things

I didn’t write either of these parables.  I have no idea who did or where I heard them.  I would gladly credit the authors if I knew.  Nevertheless, I share them here because they are two of my favorites.  The first vividly illustrates that how we obey God has a profound impact on the value of the obedience.  The second illustrates that how we do things can be terribly influenced by the way we prefer to do them.


Once upon a time there was a king of a small kingdom.  He had 50 knights.  His people loved him and they prospered under his leadership. One day an evil king came to his border with his 200 knights.  He and his bodyguard rode to the castle to negotiate surrender.  The good king received him in his throne room at the top of his tower.

After some discussions the good king told him that he would not surrender under any circumstances.  The invading king said, “Don’t be ridiculous!  My army of 200 knights is awaiting my command on your border.  I know for a fact that you only have 50 knights!”

The good king paused.  He turned to the large, heavily-armored knight standing at his side and said, “Jump out the window.”  Without a split second of hesitation, the man dropped his spear and shield, sprinted to the window and dove out of it without breaking stride.

The invader was stunned for a moment and without thinking walked to the window and looked down.  He saw the broken body stories below and then turned to the king with his mouth slightly open.  The good king looked him dead in the eye and said, “You are mistaken.  I have 49 knights.”

The invader withdrew.


On a cold, foggy, drizzly night, a man was walking down a city street.  Rare street lamps cast small pools of light on an otherwise dark and deserted street.  He heard the man before he saw him—on his hands and knees crying near the base of a lamp on the other side of the street.  He ran over to him and asked what was wrong.

“I lost my wedding ring!  I was fiddling with it on my hand as I was walking down the street and it fell off.  I can’t tell you how much that ring means to me!”

The man felt great pity for him and he offered to help.  He got on his hands and knees beside him and began looking.  After about 15 minutes, his pants were stained and he’d cut his hand on some glass.  He was tired and wet and couldn’t imagine how they both could have missed it after searching so carefully for so long.

“Are you sure this is where you dropped it?”

“No I dropped it over there,” the man said pointing into the darkness down the other side of the street.

“Then why in the world are we looking over here!!!!!”

The man looked at him like he was a total idiot and replied, “Because the light’s better.”