I wonder what else I don’t realize!
You know the old saying, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Many people attribute it to Abraham Lincoln, but the evidence for that is inconclusive. I’m not really concerned with that saying’s origin. I’m concerned about not being someone who can be fooled.
Sometimes being fooled is funny. Sometimes it’s a nuisance. Sometimes it is serious business. Ray and I experienced a funny one yesterday. As it turns out, we’ve been fooled for a long time. The issue was rubber bands. Ray’s daddy was a newspaper man. First he carried papers. Then he managed other people who carried papers. Finally he became a typesetter, first on a linotype machine and later on a computer.
Besides these roles, the staff saw Ray’s daddy as the best speller at the paper. Our family can attest to that. In his nineties, he was still a fantastic speller. Two months before he died, we had a spelling bee and he beat every one of us hands down.
I digress. Actually my subject is rubber bands. Because Ray was from a newspaper family and because we were born in the 1950s and because we wanted to be in the know, we took a daily newspaper for many years. Because the newspaper came rolled up and secured with a rubber band, we always had a ready supply. In the early 1990s, our daughter Bethany became the third generation of paper carriers (Ray was a carrier all through high school), so we got on even friendlier terms with rubber bands.
We still take the Jackson County Sentinel, but it is a weekly; and it comes in the mail, folded rather than rolled. For years now, we have been rubber band poor. Gone is my ready supply.
Yesterday morning I needed a few chocolate chips and asked Mary Evelyn if she had any. When she brought them to me, she had the bag secured with a rubber band. As I held that rubber band in my hand, I had a realization: you know, we could buy some rubber bands! I’m smiling as I type. For years, I have wished I had more rubber bands and all that time all I had to do was go to a store that sells them or order some online. I don’t have to go ask Ray if he can scrounge me up one. I laughed when I talked to Ray about it: “Here we are, after being married 43 years, and we are just now realizing that we can buy some rubber bands!”
Ray always keeps a little folded-up piece of paper in his shirt pocket. He doesn’t buy a shirt unless it has a shirt pocket. Where would he put his pen and his list? Among the many things he jots on his little piece of paper are things we need to add to the shopping list at a more convenient time. Today I asked him to write down laundry detergent and rubber bands. Learn something new every day, right?
I wonder how many “rubber band issues” each of us have in our lives. What are we doing without thinking? What might we change in our parenting or homeschooling?
I wonder what all we do, while God looks at us and thinks, “Precious child, you are making it hard for yourself. Open your eyes and see what I see. Then you won’t have to struggle so.”
Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened,
so that you will know what is the hope of His calling,
what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
and what is the surpassing greatness of His power
toward us who believe.
I think of this often – equating it to the prodigal son’s brother. We live as if we’re in want, when all the while, all has been available to us as we live in Christ.