A tall, dark man walked through the lobby to the reception desk. Placing a small case at his feet , he spoke to the receptionist.
“Will Yeates. I think you have a reservation for me.”
“Sir.” The receptionist handed him a key and an envelope.
An elderly man sitting close by returned his glass to the table without drinking. His cracked voice rose in protest.
“Bill Gates! You ain’t Bill Gates – I seen him on telly an’ you’re nuthin’ like him!” Looking around he continued his querulous remarks to all listening. “It’s all the same these days: make a name for yerself an’ somebody has to copycat, like that Elvis Cressley, an’ they call theirselves Elvis Cressley look-alikes. They dyes their hair black an’ crimps it up an’ fills it with engine oil to slick it back. They dress up an’ walk funny an’ they don’t look anythin’ like the young fella that sings “Wooden Heart” an’ all them other songs.”
He raised his glass to drink while his companion murmured, “Presley. You mean Presley, not Cressley.”
“Wot? Oh, him. Yess, well. An’ then there was that other fella – the revolutionary one – an’ we all know he’s dead and gorn. Dead as a dodo.”
His voice lowered to a continued protesting mutter, while Will Yeates accepted the proffered key and envelope.
“Room 37, sir. Third floor.”
Having thanked the receptionist, Will picked up his small case and walked across to the stairwell. He stopped briefly to scan a large and gaudy poster on a board between the lifts and the stairwell.
Across a melange of photographic blotches the large black print invited – nay, commanded – attendance at a mass meeting to be addressed by an internationally renowned speaker on the prophetic future, an added attraction being the awe-inspiring voice of an equally renowned musician and tenor.
Will shook his head, and mounting the stairs found Room 37. It was a great relief to discard his coat, tie and shoes. He took a long drink of cool water before turning his attention to the envelope. With a smile he picked up the room telephone and dialled.
“Hello, Charles? Will. Room 37.” He paused while Charles answered. Then, “Did you see that monstrous advertising blurb? How does it feel to be internationally renowned?” A smile split his face while he listened to Charles’ reply. “Yes, okay, I’ll see you then. Gives me time to get cleaned up and have a word with the Boss.”
Later as they stood together in the lobby watching the doorway our Senior Citizen caught sight of them again.
“Well would you looka that! Bill Gates and Charles Darwin together!” He shook his head as he shuffled past. “Beats all, that does!”
Soon Will and Charles were joined by a group of three men and retired to a secluded group of chairs.
“Whose idea was that poster?” demanded Will.
“Well, uh, it was mine.” The admission came from a casually dressed youth, introduced as Gary, Youth Pastor. Originally proud of his workmanship as being eye-catching and upfront, he was now unsure. Will looked him in the eye and saw the indecision. He moderated his disgust.
“Well, Gary, let me give you a word of advice: when you want to get a message across, stick to the truth.” He drew a deep breath.
Gary protested, “But it is the truth...”
Will shook his head. “No. Word by word you have stated facts that may be verified, but in essence you have laid the emphasis in the wrong place. Your emphasis is the emphasis of worldly entertainment. Essentially what is important is the word, or the song, and that only as it proclaims the Word of God and His praise. The speaker and the singer are secondary. Did you know that there is an Old ‘Un living here who must have seen your eye-catching poster two or three times every day? Yet he has made nothing of Will Yeates, internationally renowned speaker, or Charles Derwent, internationally renowned musician. When we registered he heard our names – to his disgust – as Bill Gates and Charles Darwin! Your poster has entirely missed the point. The point is the prophetic Word of God and our freedom to worship and to praise Him. Any Spirit-filled preacher, any Spirit-filled musician, can bring that message. All else is at best secondary, and in reality of little importance at all.”
“For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool.” 2 Corinthians 12:6.
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