Hey everybody, it’s Zach again. And it’s story time.
There is a rich man who lives in a gated community on the nice side of the tracks, and he has it all. Nice things, a house, a dog, a big tv. All of it. All of it and a $5,000 Armani suit. It’s brand new. In fact he just bought it yesterday. If you asked him he’d probably say that this suit is his prized possession, and can you blame him? The only thing that would look cooler than a $5,000 Armani suit is a suit of armor. And you just can’t find reliable suits of armor these days. You’d think this guy has it all going for him, and you’d be right. But this morning, our rich man is in a little bit of trouble.
The rich man wakes up in a panic at 9:20am. He was supposed to be at work twenty minutes ago! He jolts out of bed and runs to the bathroom to shower but decides against it- there’s no time! He’s late! He throws on some aftershave and quickly puts on his $5,000 suit. He leaps down the stairs swearing at himself under his breath, “You idiot… You’re going to get fired… this is the second time this week.” He reaches the door and locks it behind him, but just as he does he throws his hands up in frustration and screams aloud, “I forgot to brush my teeth.” But there’s no time! He’s late! He unlocks his car and throws it into reverse, popping two curiously strong mints into his mouth.
There are seven stop lights between the rich man’s gated community and the highway, and wouldn’t you know it – he hit every one of them. At every stoplight he would grow increasingly more frustrated. Stop light #1 9:35am. Stop light #2 9:43am. Stop light #6 10:00am. The rich man hits his steering wheel and pulls at his hair in frustration.
By the time he reaches stoplight #7, he’s at the end of his rope. He sits in his car, his road rage steadily building, when he sees out of the corner of his eye a small child playing in her back yard. The child is alone, balancing herself on the edge of a well. She’s walking around the edge with her little arms raised to balance herself – then, suddenly, she looses balance and falls into the well.
What does the rich man do?
The answer is obvious. He jumps from his car. Runs across the yard. Jumps in the well. And saves the young girls life – ruining his suit and making himself even more late for work. But why? Why did the man forsake his prized possession and risk losing his job? It’s because in that moment the life of that one little girl was worth more to him than his things.
The next day the rich man’s heroic act made the cover of the newspaper. The whole world embraced him as a selfless hero. A savior. A humble saint. He went to work the next day and received a promotion. The mayor sent him a box of cigars. He went to bed feeling content and made extra sure that he set his alarm for 7:30am. But as he drifted off to sleep, 5,400 children on the other side of the world died because they didn’t have clean water to drink.
These children don’t make the cover of the newspapers, so it’s easy to ignore their presence. We don’t see them as we rush to work. We don’t see them when we turn on the news. We don’t discuss them as we sit around the dinner table. But they are there. And they are counting on us. They are counting on us to deny the apathy which plagues our culture. They are counting on us to deny our selfish desire for more more more, and are compelling us to live on less. They are counting on us to jump in and save them.
Jump in here: http://www.charitywater.org/donate/