|The Tale Of The Great|
THE TALE OF THE GREAT INHEIRTANCE
Charley lived in the old days and worked very hard at a city bank as a lowly clerk who sat in the back room adding up the figures and sums of the balance sheets and making sure everything was right in the accounting books. He rode the trolley train to work before dawn each morning to arrive early and often worked late. On the trolley he would speak to people about their need to use a good bank like the one he worked at, which brought so many new customers that he was given a new job as a teller of new accounts. He worked hard and brought in many more new customers, giving them so much help that he was promoted to assistant to the manager. After several years Charlie was the president of the bank which grew to a large and famous institution.
If asked the secret of his success Charley would open the drawer of his desk and pull out a worn and well-read Bible. Showing many pages of underlined verses and notes written in the margins, he would say, "The Bible is my guide. It has pointed me to Jesus as my Savior. All I ever do is to serve the God it proclaims. If I follow the principles of the Bible I am assured of blessing."
Charley was blessed, he had a wonderful wife named Mary, and had a brilliant son named Christopher. He had a fine house and the comforts brought through the fruit of hard work.
It was not Charley's fault that the bank collapsed, in the crisis many banks did. Indeed, Charley was outspoken about the possibility of the ruin of the banks and sought to change the system for the better but his was one lone voice unheard in the revels of the time.
Charlie had to move into a smaller home but he never suffered want and was never bitter; instead he was always thankful to God for blessings and full of praise to Jesus his Savior.
When Charlie died his funeral was well attended, his widow and son sat in black and wept loving tears of grief, as did all who knew Charlie. As a good husband he made sure Mary, his widow, had everything she needed. Christopher listened as the long faced lawyer read, "'And to my son Christopher I leave my Bible and everything it contains. May he find everything he needs between its pages.' I am sorry Chris, I know you hoped to inherit your father's fortune but as you know he was wiped out in the banking crash. There is nothing but this Bible." The lawyer put the old Bible in Christopher's hand.
"I thought as much." Mused Christopher. "I often saw him reading this Bible. It was like he became the Bible and the Bible became him."
Remembering how his father loved the Bible Christopher was sure he would keep this heirloom as a treasured tribute of his father's faith. He put it on the mantel above the fireplace in the small house he and his mother lived in. He hoped the Bible would be a little something of his father to give him strength.
Times were hard then and work was tough to find. Even though Christopher was educated and intelligent he was only able to get common work as a clerk or assistant in an office. Often he would look at his father's Bible on the mantle and think of how hard his father worked and he himself resolved to do the right things.
Christopher married Phoebe and had children of his own. He worked hard to provide, but his young wife had to take in mending and do other people's laundry; even still they barely got by and hardly ever had enough. Through the years his father's Bible sat on the mantle revered but unopened, its pages unread, the truths not proclaimed, and its comfort withheld.
Christopher watched his children grow and get lives of their own. He always felt regret that he was not able to give them the good things his father gave him even though he worked hard. His wife grew vegetables in the yard and often her patience lead to a harvest that put dinner on the table. Sometimes when he came home after working late to sit down to a cold dinner Christopher would look at the Bible on the mantle; he would remember his father' riches and wished that some of the wealth had survived the finical ruin of the past. It was not anger or bitterness but a reflection that if his father had hidden something away he would have more for his little family and wife he loved.
The Bible was enshrined on the mantle and was dusted respectfully over the years. That dust of time seemed to settle on Christopher and Phoebe. Their children said, "This house is too much for you now that you are so old, sell it and move to a little apartment near us." So it was that Christopher whose father was once one of the richest men in the state was being packed up by strangers and moved to a small rental apartment.
The moving men packed up everything; furniture, dishes, books, all that Christopher and Phoebe owned. The chief moving man, a large muscled man with a thick mustache, walked through the empty rooms to make sure everything was taken. "What's this? Does this go too?" He asked, lifting the Bible off of the mantle. Almost forgotten it was the last thing to be packed up.
Christopher stood in the bright sunlight at the door about to leave the old house. "Oh yes, we should take that, it is my father's old Bible. Be careful of it, it hasn't been opened in years."
"Yes, Sir, I know it is a Bible, but what are these papers inside? They look important."
With arthritic steps Christopher shuffled to the fireplace and looked at what the mover was holding. In one hand the opened Bible showed large pages. In the man's other had was a document folded neatly. Christopher took it and shifting his glasses so he could read it, exclaimed with a shout, "What is this?" Old and so nearly blind he could hardly read the words of the document in his hand, a certificate of stock-holdings in a major business. "This is worth a fortune."
"There is more." Said the moving man as he flipped through the pages of the Bible lifting out many folded papers that had "Stock," "Certification of deposit," "Municipal Bond," or "Investment Fund Account," written in flowing script across the tops.
"What is it Chris?" Phoebe's voice wavered as she put her wrinkled hand on his shoulder.
"My father's will said, 'And to my Son Christopher I leave my Bible and all it contains. May he find all he needs between its pages.' Look in between the pages were certificates, stocks, and bonds. Phoebe we have found Father's millions."
Later the sun was setting as Christopher and Phoebe sat in the taxi following the moving van to their apartment. They were in silent shock overwhelmed by the sudden discovery of wealth. The cab driver turned to say, "We should be there in a few minutes." He saw the Bible that Christopher was holding on his lap. "I admire your devotion to the Bible, sir. I find everything I need in it. You know I read a chapter every day."
Christopher whispered, "I wish I did."
Our Father in heaven has hidden spiritual treasure in the pages of the Bible. It has wealth for this life and the next, but they can only be mined by those who diligently and daily search its pages for its wonders.
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