by Ken Rolheiser
Club 99 and Stewardship

Long ago there lived a King who should have been contented with his life, but this was not the case. He felt something was lacking. One day he heard one of his servants happily singing.
The King summoned this man to his chambers and asked why he was so happy? The man replied, “Your Majesty, I make enough of a living to keep my wife and children happy. They are my inspiration. I am happy because my family is happy.”

Hearing this, the King summoned his Personal Assistant for advice. His assistant listened attentively and came to this conclusion, “Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of Club 99.”

“What exactly is Club 99?” the King inquired. The Assistant replied, “Your Majesty, to truly know what Club 99 is, you will have to do the following: place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant's doorstep. You will then understand what Club 99 is.”

That evening the King arranged for 99 Gold coins to be placed in a bag at the servant's doorstep. Uneasily he thought he maybe should have put 100 Gold coins into the bag. 

Next morning the servant saw a bag at his doorstep. When he opened it, he let out a great big shout of joy! Gold Coins! So many of them! He could hardly believe it. He called his wife to show her the coins.

He then emptied it out and began to count the coins. He realized that there were 99 coins and he thought it was an odd number, so he counted again and again and again only to come to the same conclusion.

What could have happened to that last one coin? No one would leave 99 coins. He began to search his entire house and his backyard for hours, not wanting to lose out on that one coin. 

Finally, exhausted, he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to make up for that one gold coin to make his entire collection an even 100 Gold Coins.

He got up the next morning, in an extremely horrible mood, shouting at the children and his wife for his delay. not realizing that he had spent most of the night conjuring ways of working hard so that he had enough money to buy himself that gold coin. He went to work grumpily.

The King was puzzled. His assistant replied, “Ah! But your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined Club 99, the name given to those people who have everything, but yet are never contented until they get an even 100!”

Imagine yourself getting a sudden windfall such as a great harvest or an inheritance. How that could change your stewardship of treasure. You could pay off your immediate debts. 

Suddenly your mind is working hard. To stay out of debt you must now set up some plan of savings. Suddenly you are no longer able to donate to the charities you used to support – Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International…and the list goes on.

We have so much to be thankful for and we can live with very little in our lives, but the minute we are given something bigger and better, we want even more! Do we want to join Club 99?
The King in this parable decided that from that day forth, he was going to start appreciating all the little things in life.
(581 words)