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Quiet Talks On Service by S. D. Gordon

A Steamer Chair for His Friend.

It helps immensely here to recall the necessary qualities of a great executive, one who is concerned about the conduct of large affairs. There are two great qualities absolutely needful in any one occupying such a position. There must be the ability to grasp the whole scheme involved, and to keep one's finger upon every detail, as well. God is a great executive, the great executive of the universe. He planned the vast scheme of worlds making up the universe, and every detail. The whole universe in its immensity, and the intricacy of its movements, is kept in motion by Him. And every detail down to the smallest, the falling of one of the smallest birds, is ever under His thoughtful eye and touch. And He is our God. He has each of us on His heart.

We may learn of God by looking at man, made in His image. A story is told of a merchant well known on both sides of the water, illustrating this. His business interests are very extensive, with great stores in three of the world's great cities. He has displayed great genius for controlling the details of his vast enterprise. It is said that at one time when his business was developing its greatness, this was his habit. He would come to a clerk's desk unexpectedly and, sitting down quietly, note the transactions that came along. Here was a sales slip; three yards of calico, seven cents per yard, twenty-one cents; a bolt of tape, three cents, total twenty-four cents; cash fifty cents, twenty-six cents change. He would very quietly note the calculations, and call attention to any inaccuracies.

He might stay there a half-hour. Then he was away again. It was never known when he might come, nor where. He was always marked for his genial courtesy toward all his employees. That was his habit for years, I am told. His talent for details amounts to positive genius. And with this goes the ability to originate and build up and keep ever growing his vast business operations. And this man is but one of a very large class in our day of specialized organization. This faculty of controlling both the whole, and each detail, is a bit of the image of God in these men. Only man is ever less than God. The best organization slips sometimes, somewhere. But God never fails. Each of us is personal to Him. He can think of each as though there were no other needing His thought, and He does.

A little incident is told of George Mueller of Bristol, England. He is the man who taught the whole world anew how to trust God. Poor in his own holdings, he expended millions of dollars in caring for orphans, supporting missionaries, and distributing printed truth. He never asked any man for money nor made any needs known. He trusted God for all and for each. The two thousand and more orphans, and the cutting of his quill pen were alike subjects of prayer with him.

At one time, in the course of his missionary travels around the world, he was embarking on an ocean voyage. He was an old man at the time, and accompanied by a young man who attended to the details of travel. After they had boarded the steamer his companion came up hurriedly to say that the steamer chair for Mr. Mueller's use was not on board and he could not get any trace of it. It would of course be a very necessary convenience for the steamer trip. Mr. Mueller inquired if the proper notice had been sent to have it on board. Yes, all had been done that should have been done. And now the time was very short.

Mr. Mueller breathed a quiet prayer, and then said to his companion not to be disturbed, that he felt sure it would be on hand in time. The attendant went off again to see what could be done, came back evidently annoyed at the possibility of his elder distinguished companion being inconvenienced. But Mr. Mueller quieted him with the assurance that the chair would come. They stood at the side rail above, overlooking the dock.

At the very last moment, just as the hawsers were about to be thrown off, and the gang plank pulled away, a truck of luggage was hurriedly run on board, and on top of the pile the friends watching above could plainly see a steamer chair with G. M. marked on it. Mr. Mueller, standing in his group of friends, looked up past them and quietly said, |Father, I thank Thee.| Was God in that simple occurrence? He surely was. He was concerned that His faithful friend should have the chair for his bodily comfort. Man's arrangements seemed in danger of slipping. His overruling touch was put in for His friend's sake. A chair wasn't too small for God because it was for His friend, Mr. Mueller.

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