In Australia, our financial year ends on the thirtieth of June, so at this stage of the month there is a lot of stock-taking going on all over the country. People are busy, physically counting stock even in this electronic age. My granddaughter Brianna brought the fact back to me when she mentioned she had been stoically doing stock take in their very cold warehouse this week. Of course I sympathized with her. I recall standing on the icy side of a reverse cycle heating unit counting plumbing fittings in the past. Fortunately, as time went by we became more sophisticated with stock- take and we girls were able to sit in the heated office downloading from bar-code readers whilst the men did the manual counting.
When I was a girl and worked for Myer in Hobart we had to measure every yard of every roll of ribbon and card of lace, of which there were hundreds. The two middle-aged ladies, with whom I worked, watched me like a hawk to make sure I rolled them up again perfectly. We did this everyday in the lead up to the 30th June and somehow managed to serve our customers, while stepping over and around piles of unrolled ribbon in our tiny working space.
After the Stock-take, supervisors or bosses randomly take an Audit checking your counts to see if they are correct. There are questions to be answered if the numbers differ widely from the actual stock control record in the computer. In such cases a bit of detective work can often resolve the issue of an incorrect stock number or some misplaced stock. There is always much joy when the matter is resolved.
To illustrate how much He cares for us Jesus told a stock-take story. Here is my paraphrased version. “There was once a Shepherd who literally did a head count. You could call it ‘a livestock- take’. He had counted his sheep and knew he had exactly one hundred. Imagine his distress when he did an Audit and discovered one was missing. So he left the ninety nine and went searching for his lost sheep. When he found his sheep he joyfully put it on his shoulders and carried it back to the rest of the flock, inviting his neighbours to rejoice with him. (Luke 15:3-6)
Bri-Anna the lovely ‘Frozen’ Stock-take princess. Photo taken in London With Grandad (Doug)