The Preacher and the Farmer
An old hill farmer trudged several miles through the freezing snow to his local and very remote chapel for Sunday service. No-one else was there, apart from the priest.
"I'm not sure it's worth proceeding with the service - might we do better to go back to our warm homes and a hot drink?.." asks the clergyman, inviting a mutually helpful reaction from his audience of one.
"Well, I'm just a simple farmer," says the old farmer, "But when I go to feed my herd, and if only one beast turns up, I don't leave it hungry."
So the priest, feeling somewhat ashamed, delivers his service - all the bells and whistles, hymns and readings. The service lasted a good couple of hours – and the priest finished proudly with the fresh observation that no matter how small the need, our duty remains. And he thanked the old farmer for the lesson he had learned.
As the two men set off for home through the snow, the priest looks at the farmer. "Was that okay?" he asks him.
"Well I'm just a simple farmer," says the old crofter, "But when I go to feed my herd, and if only one beast turns up, I sure don't force it to eat what I brought for the whole herd..."
From which we see the extra lesson, that while our duty remains regardless of the level of need, we have the additional responsibility to ensure that we adapt our delivery (of whatever is our stock in trade) according to the requirements of our audience