We all have those days when…. Little Ole was taken to Dr. Hanson cause he hadn't eaten anything for days. Dr. Hanson offered him all the goodies he could think of. No luck. He even tried a little scolding and a little pleading, to no avail. Finally he sat down, faced the boy, looked him in the eye, and said "Look young man, if you can be stubborn, so can I. You're not going anywhere till you eat something. You can have whatever you want, but only after you have eaten, will you leave. “
Ole just sat and glared for some time, then said "Ok. I'll eat, but I have some conditions. First, I'll have exactly what I want and exactly how I want it, and second, you will share it with me.” Dr. Hanson was okay with this. He asked the child what he'd like. "Worms!" said Ole.
Dr. Hanson was horrified but didn't want to back out and seem like a loser. So, he ordered a plate of worms to be brought in. "Not that many, just one!” yelled Ole as he saw the plate. So, everything other than one worm, was removed. Ole then demanded that the single worm be cut into two, and then Dr. Hanson eat half. Dr. Hanson went through the worst ordeal of his life, and after finishing, barely managing to keep his cool said, "Ok, now eat!” Ole refused as he sobbed, "No way! You ate my half!”
I don’t know if I was a stubborn child, but I have discovered that it is a quality that I’m learning to channel as an adult. I know there is no other person here who does this, but some days, I just have to keep reminding myself to stick to the job at hand. Those situations tend to come up when I’d rather be doing something else - like having to go to bed, rather than watching the next episode on the current binge watch. Or writing a sermon on a scripture passage I’d rather not use.
Granted, we all have choices and we get to make them, regardless of their success or failure. And we often times have opportunities to leave one thing to take up another - like scripture passages for a particular Sunday. But sometimes, treading through what you’d rather not do is not only good for the soul, it can be an inspiration to others.
I happened across an article about a 17 year old student at the school where I used to teach, and in fact, she may be the daughter of a former student. Ten weeks ago, Jordan was alone in her car when an approaching vehicle veered over the middle line, hitting her head-on, flipping the car on its top, pinning the girl. Not that that was bad enough, but the car started on fire, and in the end, with a broken arm and a broken pelvis, she had to have both her legs amputated below the knee. Oh, yea, and she recently broke the school record set by her mother 20 years before in the 100 meter dash. Then, in the interview a local news station did on her, she said this.
“Honestly, I’m glad it happened the way it did, because, like, if anyone were in the car with me, I’d feel so bad, like putting their lives in danger. But it was just me, and I’m happy with what I have now, so I’m good with it.”
Back to today’s passage, it’s a parable that follows the “lost” chapter of Luke, the lost sheep, coin and son, and last week’s passage about God’s perspective in what is important.
Just the messenger. And the collector and arranger of that which has been received. References available upon request.