22 July 2011

Just a little self-reliant humor today: the preacher and the flood

So far as I know, this joke originally came from Napoleon Hill's book, Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement:

A preacher was stranded on the roof of his church in a flood. As the waters rose higher around him, he prayed fervently for God to rescue him. “The Lord will provide,” he told himself. 
Soon a boat floated by. The occupants called to the preacher to swim to them. “Don’t worry about me,” the preacher called back. “The Lord will provide.” Reluctantly the people on the boat went on.
The waters rose higher and soon were lapping around the knees of the man of God. Another boat appeared within a few yards of the church rooftop. The rescuers inside called to the preacher, and again he replied, “The Lord will provide!” This boat went on, and the preacher prayed even more fervently.
Just as the water reached the preacher’s chin, a third boat appeared. It came so close that the preacher could have jumped right in. But the terrified man clutched his steeple and cried, “Save someone else. The Lord will provide for me!” And the boat went on.
Within a few minutes, the water closed over the preacher’s head, and he drowned. Reaching the gates of heaven, he asked for an immediate audience with the Lord, which was granted. In the divine presence, the preacher humbled himself and asked, “Heavenly Father, my work on Earth was not yet finished. Why didn’t you save me?”
“Good grief” came the reply. “I thought you wanted to come here. I sent you three boats, didn’t I?”

An old joke, but still funny. I also like this joke because it has something to teach, albeit in a humorous way.

On the surface, this joke shows the value of not waiting for others to "save you" — we must act, too. The joke also reminds me that faith is a wonderful thing, but God often requires us to do our part. In taking it upon ourselves to act for our own good, we are practicing self-reliance to some degree.

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