Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

For Sale

Looking through some of my recent e-mails from Mikey’s Funnies, I found a couple of short stories that I’d like to share with you today.  The first one is entitled “Touch of Wonder” by Arthur Gordon.

When I was about 13 and my brother 10, our father promised to take us to the circus.  But then at lunchtime there was a phone call - some urgent business that required his attention downtown - and we braced ourselves for disappointment. But then we heard him say, ‘No, I won't be able to come down.  It's going to have to wait.’”

”He came back to the table and mother smiled, ‘The circus keeps coming back, you know.’”

“‘I know,’ he said, ‘but childhood doesn't.’”

”After all these years I remember that moment.  And I knew from the sudden glow of warmth that no kindness is ever really wasted or completely lost because the only thing you take with you to heaven is your family.”

While I try to savor my kiddos’ childhood and bask in the joy of summer, I can’t help but think about what’s around the corner in late August.  While my kids really do enjoy school, the early mornings, homework, projects, and stricter bedtimes aren’t quite as welcomed.  After giving in to my urge to buy school supplies (I just adore a fresh box of crayons…are ya with me?!), I desperately still want to hang onto what’s left of this summer. 

I realize that there is more to life than increasing its speed, but it’s challenging to remember on a day to day basis.  “Hurry up and get in the car.  Hurry up and get out of the car.  Come on kids, I want to hurry up and get in and out of this grocery store.  Now, hurry up and get ready for bed. “  Does any of this sound remotely familiar?  I hope we’re not the only ones that this resonates with.

However, much to my enjoyment, we did have a wonderful “slow it on down” moment this past weekend and I am clinging onto it.  My mom and dad have an adorable little house by the beach.  They also happen to have a tree out back that produces the crunchiest little pears known to man.  This year they had some to keep, some to share, and then some more after that.

So, what do young entrepreneurial boys and girls do with an abundance of produce?  Yes.  They have a pear sale on the street corner.  My dad held the ladder while the kids picked the pears and my children took turns holding the money bag at the table (the highlight).  My daughter made a sign – “Crunchy Pears – 5 for $1.00” and they were ready!  They set up a table and chairs and presented the pears on an old blue towel (presentation makes ALL the difference…my dad assured me.)

My son absolutely did not care that it was 100 degrees with 200% humidity.  He was selling pears until the tree was bare.  The fact that someone pulled up within two minutes and bought 10 pears with a $5 bill and said, “Keep the change,” really revved up the excitement level on that street corner.  Of course when things got a little slow I hopped in the car and pulled up to their stand to buy some.  They didn’t hesitate to take my green – hee hee! 

Over the course of the weekend, they made $23 and could not have been more thrilled.  As pumped as my son was about the sale and how much money he might make overall, I was speechless when he said he was going to give Saturday’s profits to church.  (Insert my melted heart.)

The pear sale was a great time for me to sit back and marvel at the gifts of my children.  My heart could not have been more full.

Speaking of sales, the other short story from Mikey’s Funnies is written by Michael A. Halleen and is certainly thought-provoking.  It involves a sale…a tool sale…and I think you might find it as interesting as I did:

“An old story says that the Devil once held a sale of all the tools of his trade.  Everything was displayed—keen-edged daggers of jealousy, sledge-hammers of anger, manacles of greed, arrows of covetousness, and spears of deception—all available at bargain prices.  Nearby was a table holding the more subtle weapons of vanity, fear, envy, and pride.”

”But in a place of honor, framed and set apart from all the others, was a small wedge, marked and dented from frequent use.  The name on this wedge was Discouragement, and its price was higher by far than any other tool being sold.  Asked the reason for this surprising difference, the Devil explained, ‘It's because this is the tool I use when all the others fail.  Let me get that little wedge into a person's consciousness and it opens the way for everything else!  It's provided more opportunities for me than any other!’”

“The wedge of discouragement is still as effective a weapon as any the Enemy has in his arsenal.  There are shields, however, that offer protection:

~ Patience.  God's delays are not necessarily God's denials.
~ Responsibility.  Don't blame your lack of progress on others.  We are where we are through our choices alone.
~ Courage.  Be willing to do what you fear.
~ Wisdom.  Be open to reconsidering your goals and revising your plans.
~ A quiet heart.  Be at peace.  Put the burden down and rest until your heart is still.
~ Faithfulness.  Look up.  Hold simply to God and to the journey God has set you on.”

“The wedge of discouragement can slow — but need not stop — the progress of the people of God.”

All of these sales got me to thinking.  While I was eager to buy the pears, I certainly need to think before I feel tempted to purchase any of the Enemy’s tools.  How quick am I to pull out the ole wallet for those hurtful tools and weapons?  I pray for the wisdom to always look on the table of shields first before I am lured by the bargain basement store prices of any dagger, sledge-hammer, shackle, spear, or wedge of his.

Let us all especially look out for that nasty wedge of discouragement…

No Sips next week!  Be sure to spread some sunshine in your corner of the world!  Thanks so much for stopping by.

No comments:

Post a Comment