During a board meeting, the owner of a huge chain of fast-food restaurants announced his plans to pose as an entry-level employee at various restaurants in order to see what was going on.
So, he left his family, mansion, limousine, and other luxuries he normally enjoyed and checked in at a cheap motel, the kind that an entry-level employee might live in until he could afford better housing.
When he showed up for work the following morning, the manager showed him around and introduced him to his trainer. As he worked alongside that experienced employee, he noticed some fellow employees were doing a wonderful job; others had a “don’t care ‘bout this job” attitude.
As he struggled to learn procedures mandated by the company, he realized some of them needed to be modified. Also, he soon learned that some jobs that looked easy were very difficult, since he couldn’t do them well, no matter how hard he tried. Thus, he felt the frustrations caused by having to do demanding work—for little pay or praise.
After a week of that, he returned to the corporate office and called a meeting of the board to discuss the things he’d learned and to explain the changes he wanted to implement.
Next, he summoned a few of the employees (entry-level to supervisors) he’d met. Some he wanted to reward, some to reprimand. Naturally, they were stunned when they found out that the bumbling employee was actually the owner of the company. One lady, whom he praised for her work and then announced plans to give her something she longed for, wiped away tears of joy as she said, “[The company] has gone far beyond anything I ever expected; they’ve shown they care about me.”
Another dedicated employee was speechless, for a time, when he learned about the special assignment/promotion the company wanted to give him and about the thousands of dollars he would receive on behalf of his visually impaired son. When he was finally able to speak, he said, “I never believed anything like this would ever happen.”
That TV show brought to mind a parable (an earthly story with a heavenly meaning) told by Jesus and recorded in the 25th chapter of Matthew. In it, a man called his servants together and gave each of them a different sum of money to invest for him while he was away.
When he returned a long time later, he called his servants in for an accounting of how they’d managed the money he’d entrusted to them. Two of the three had doubled the master’s money and were not only commended for their faithfulness but also were given greater responsibilities and/or opportunities.
The third servant, on the other hand, failed to show any returns on the money entrusted to him. Whereupon, the master called him “useless” and ordered him thrown out.
Having told that story, Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in all His glory, all the nations will be gathered into His presence, and He will separate the righteous from the unrighteous. The unrighteous will go into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life and blessing.”
Though we, like the employees mentioned earlier, are unaware that our daily actions and attitudes are being observed, rest assured they are. And one day, we, too, will be brought before the Lord for an accounting of our lives.
©2010 by Johnnie Ann Burgess Gaskill, firstname.lastname@example.org.