Story: Hot dog man
Phillipe was a hot dog vendor in one of those little metal trailers with the window that opens and a colorful, messy menu of hot dog items hanging on the side.
The famous and controversial financial mogul, Miguel Stevens, often stepped out of his Manhattan skyscraper to grab a bite at Phillipe's stand. Miguel was famous for his atypical business techniques. One commentator summed it up with one word: INTEGRITY. It went against all modern marketing strategies and somehow he made millions.
The word integrity made Phillipe nervous.
Today Phillipe saw Miguel come out of the rotating doors and cross the stone courtyard toward his stand as he was mobbed by reporters. Nothing new. Miguel still hadn't answered them by the time he got to Phillipe's stand. He ordered his usual, Turkey Brat, a little bit of mustard.
Miguel was peaceful and Phillipe felt no rush. Phillipe had fewer customers than the other vendors, rarely a line of more than one. Miguel was one of his few consistent customers.
As Phillipe handed him the hot dog today Miguel asked Phillipe, "Would you mind if I stood on your trailer hitch for a moment so answer these reporters?"
"Uh, no problem." Phillipe thought it a weird request. He was always insecure around this man, and skeptical. He was skeptical of all rich businessmen. He was rarely treated well by them. "Sure. Go ahead."
Miguel walked around to the side of the trailer and pulled himself up a couple feet higher on the trailer hitch. He spoke in a loud voice, over the reporters as if speaking more to the people in the square than the reporters themselves.
"You ask how to make your fortune. I tell you, it is be honest with yourself and others. Simply listen to what they need, and give it to them with honesty and fairness."
The reporters and the rest of the courtyard were silent, minus the fountain splashing water in the middle. A moment later all went back to normal and the reporters drifted away, having their juice for the day. Miguel, still on the trailer hitch looked into Phillipe's trailer and said, "Change your price of your most popular item to an even two dollars, and remove all the other menu items."
Phillipe stood still for a moment and then hesitantly stepped out of his trailer. As Miguel watched, Phillipe un-velcroed the $1.99 price tag of his Turkey Brat and replaced it with "$2." Then, almost in a daze, he removed the others in the messy list of menu items. He had so refined his sales method and pitch over so many years to convert sales into maximum profit, slipping in hidden charges wherever he could. It was the only way to survive out here. He hesitated before he removed the sign for the traditional brat and Miguel encouraged, "If they want something else, they will ask for it and you will have it."
As he finished Phillipe glanced at Miguel, whose arms were crossed, looking back with a peaceful smile. Phillipe glanced back at the courtyard and saw a huge line reaching to the fountain. He followed it and was suddenly aghast when he saw it led to his own trailer. He looked back at Miguel who had a sly smile.
Phillipe dropped his gaze and said, "Sir, you should go. I am a scammer and a hack. I don't deserve your advice."
Miguel didn't budge until Phillipe looked back up to him. "Will you work for me, Phillipe? Leave this life and let me teach you."
In Luke 5 Jesus called Peter to leave the world's way of doing things for Jesus's way. What is God asking you to trust him to leave behind?