A Modern Parable

August 1, 2019
by Richard Worden

Isaiah 40:11 – He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart. (NIV)

1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 1:31 – The Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son. (NIV)

Margaret Fishback Powers is the author of the poem Footprints in the Sand. The poem appears on pillows, cups, and posters. The theme of the poem is that Jesus is the caring one.

Lillian Daniel has a contemporary version of a similar theme. It is the story of a farmer taking his hog to market.

    The man picked up a huge hog and carried it for a short distance and then put it down, panting and sweating. He repeated the process with determination. Suddenly, the farmer was overtaken by a jogger who commented that it was going to take the whole day to get to the market, but if he drove, it might take a few minutes. The farmer replied that as far as he knew, time meant nothing to the hog.*

Jesus was a good communicator. He knew that the majority of His hearers could not read. However, the inability to read was compensated for by the ability to remember, to recall stories, and to be able to share them. The skill that Jesus used is known as the telling of parables, which are a type of analogy or a succinct lesson with a specific meaning. The English word "parable" is from the Greek word "parabole" and the Latin word "parabola" meaning a comparison.

The comparison between the farmer and the jogger could also be the comparison between a healthy lifestyle and one that is so urgent that there is no time to stop, to contemplate, and to renew our spiritual and physical resources.

Another possible meaning for me of Daniel's parable is that sometimes we rush like the jogger; sometimes we take our time like the farmer; and there are times when we are like the hog: we are carried, supported, and upheld by God and friends.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank You for the times when You carried us through the trouble and turmoil in our lives. Thank You for the opportunity to appreciate our family and friends, the wonders of Your world, the help that we have received, and the work that our hands and minds achieve to Your glory and name. Amen.
* Lillian Daniel. When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church. New York: Jericho Books, 2013, pages 119-120.

About the author:

Richard Worden <cliveworden@gmail.com>
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing, Richard.


    Thanks for a good word today!


    What a very effective devotional. Thank you.
    (Texas)


    Thank you, Richard, for reminding us how God cares for us.


    Today’s devotional was an absolute delight! Thank you, Richard, for writing.


    Richard, thank you for sharing this cute parable. It’s messed is well taken. Blessings.


    Great devotional, Richard. Thank you for sharing this message!
    Blessings.


    Hi Richard,
    Good devotional this morning. Sometimes we do rush indeed, and when we are faltering we are carried by Jesus through faith.
    Thank you for writing


    Good morning Richard. Thank you for your Daily Devotional today. I really enjoyed this one. I certainly can relate all you present in your message.
    I look forward to these devotionals.
    God’s blessings,
    (QC)


    Hello Richard,
    Thank you for the devotional you have written for today. A very good reminder that our Lord is there, ever ready and willing to carry us through our struggling times and encouraging us on when needed.
    Blessings to you.
    (B.C.)


    Richard,
    It’s good to see the author of the “Footprints” poem given credit. She is often not credited at all, or just as “Anonymous”.
    Margaret Fishback Powers is a friend and fellow member of my church, Coquitlam Presbyterian Church, in Coquitlam, BC.
    Thanks for your contribution to the PresbyCan daily devotional. I often find them inspiring and forward them to friends.
    Blessings.


    Beautiful! Thanks.


    Thank you for this reminder of his infinite love.


    Dear Richard,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please keep writing devotions.
    You will keep improving.


    Thanks for your devotional today. I sure identified… often as the jogger and from time to time in recent months, as the hog… having been supported and upheld by God and friends during my grief. I especially appreciated your prayer. Thanks!


    Thank you for writing. God bless you.


    Hi. Thank you for your devotional. It was very inspiring.
    One correction: The poem, Footprints in the Sand, was written by Margaret Powers, not Mary.

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