First story. Humility.
Toward the end of the Civil War, President Lincoln decided to visit Richmond to see what it had been like. A tugboat was found to carry him and his small party — including son Tad — up the river. Soon, they ran into barriers and obstructions placed to impede traffic, so they transferred to a smaller boat. Before long, a message arrived saying the army needed that boat. This time, the presidential party transferred to a rowboat. Lincoln uncomplainingly got into the rowboat and they slowly made their way toward Richmond.
“You know,” Lincoln said, “this reminds me of a little story.”
Everything reminded him of a story; one more reason we adore him.
“When I first came into office, there was a man who came to me applying for office from Illinois, I believe it was. He said, ‘I want to be secretary of state; won’t you appoint me?’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that, I’ve already appointed Secretary Seward.’ ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘well, can’t you appoint me consul general to Paris?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘that post is already filled.’ ‘Well, could you appoint me collector of customs in Austin?’ ‘No, that post is already filled.’ ‘Well,’ said the man, ‘at least, at least could you give me an old pair of pants?’” Lincoln added, “It pays to be humble, and I’m not upset by coming to Richmond in a rowboat.”
President Lincoln must have known our Lord’s teaching in Luke 14.