Tales of Moderation

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#183: “Tales of Moderation”
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Matthew 6:19-21

19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 18:18-25
18A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

19"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone. 20You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'" 21"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said. 22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 23When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!

25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

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Tales of Moderation

“Tales of Moderation” is episode #183 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on February 22, 1992.


Connie reads three stories from Whit about moderation, which include a talking toaster, two farmers, and a young prince.



It all started at Whit’s house. Connie is there, helping him clean out his garage. There, she notices something: Although Whit is wealthy and owns lots of property, he chooses to live in a modest home. Connie asks Whit about it. She wonders why he doesn’t live in a way that better suits his financial status. Whit tells Connie that wisdom and experience have taught him that it’s much better to exercise moderation and live more simply.

Connie isn’t convinced, so Whit gives her a book of three tales, which explains his reasons for living like he does. The first tale, An Hour Later, is about two farmers. They both worked very hard one year, and it paid off. The first farmer went crazy and had a lavished New Year's Eve party, while the second farmer divided his blessings into fourths and celebrated New Year's Eve quietly with his family. The next year wasn't so good. The Blights came and destroyed their crops. The first farmer had nothing left, while the second farmer was fine.

Whit’s second tale, Who Owns Who, is about a Young Man who surrounds himself with every expensive and modern appliance available in order to become truly independent. Then, his appliances start talking! He goes to sleep, thinking it's a nightmare, but his alarm talks to him! The appliances tell the man that he's been neglecting them, leaving them to get old. The man agrees, and soon enough, he did nothing but fixing appliances. Finally, he gets frustrated and tells them to do what they were created to do--or else! He jumps in his car, satisfied, but it and his garage won't let him go anywhere!

Finally, Connie reads Can You Journey Through the Eye of a Needle, the story of a rich, young prince who asks a great teacher what he must do to gain eternal life. The teacher tells him to sell all his possessions and give them to the poor. The young prince leaves sadly - he loves his wealth more than he loves anything else.

The point is made - Connie understands the importance of moderation. In her prayers that evening, she thanks God for giving her a wise friend like John Avery Whittaker.

Discussion Questions

  1. Connie felt that since Whit was wealthy, he should live like it. Do you agree?
    • Why or why not?
  2. What were Whit’s reasons for living simply?
  3. Why is it important to practice moderation?
    • How can you practice moderation in your life?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Eugene Meltsner John Whittaker
June Kendall Connie Kendall


  • The first story in this episode involves characters named "Bill" and "Tedd." This is most likely a reference to the Bill & Ted movies and animated series.
  • At one point, Farmer Bill says "Hunger and want slink across the land like two giant...slinky things." This is an almost direct quote from the TV series Blackadder: "Disease and deprivation stalk our land like... two giant stalking things."
  • This episode was used in Radio Scripts, Volume 2.
  • The "Who Owns Who" segment of this episode bears a striking similarity to a Jungle Jam episode with the same title ("Who Owns Who") which was also written by Phil Lollar.


Connie Kendall: Why don't you live in a style more befitting your financial status?
John Whittaker: Now you sound like Eugene.
Connie Kendall: Well, there's no reason to get insulting...

Young Man: I'll cut you all off from your power sources!

Young Man: <alarm buzzing> What a dream. Better turn off the ol' alarm, <smacks alarm>
Alarm: Thank you.
Young Man: You're Welc—AAH! <gulps> What?!
Alarm: Now, can we talk about my timing mechanism? I think it's a little slow.

Bill: I didn't know the sole of my shoe was pink! Oh, that's my foot.

Connie Kendall: And God... thank you again for my wise friend Whit. Next to you and my mom, he's the best friend I have.