Month: September 2016

Lessons From the Pool

Eight year old boys aren’t especially noted for self-control — especially where candy is involved.  This summer I had Josiah at swimming lessons and he was usually the only student in his group.  The last day of a two-week session is usually a “fun” day, and we had reached this “graduation” event.  As usual, Josiah was the only student, but he enjoyed the one-on-one attention from his instructor. As the session concluded, the guppies, and jellyfish, and dolphins, and sharks (names given to the various levels) plodded out of the water and began to towel-off.  Josiah was standing near an instructor who had a rather large group of younger children.

She was giving “dum-dum” suckers to each of her pupils. I could see it in his eyes; he desperately wanted one of those dum-dums.  Self-control is something we have been working on with Josiah, so, I watched.  She didn’t offer him one of the lollipops. (To be honest, it made me mad.)  Josiah held his tongue. So did I.  I helped him get ready and we left the pool.  When we got to the car, I asked him about it.

“Josiah, you saw that teacher giving suckers to her students, didn’t you?”
“Yes, Daddy.”
“You wanted one, didn’t you?”
“Yes, Daddy.”

I told him how proud I was of him for using his self-control, and that I was going to reward his behavior by getting him a treat way better than a silly, old, sucker. So, I took him to Steak ‘n Shake for a milkshake (I think as much to appease my offense as a parent having their child excluded, as to reinforce his good choice.)

I have to wonder, though, how many milkshakes have I missed out on, because I had to have the sucker.
“It’s not fair, God!”
“I want what they have!”
“Why can’t I have a sucker, now?”

Well, possibly, because there is a milkshake waiting in the wings.


Lessons from the Doctor’s office

I had a skin cancer removed from my temple this past spring. (Nothing serious, the doctor said that it should never give me any trouble again.) When the nurse was prepping me for the sutures, she informed me that the doctor would stitch an area larger than the incision.
Sure, fine.
Then he began to stitch, and stitch, and stitch, and…..stitch.
I thought to myself, “Geez, I’m going to look like Frankenstein’s monster, by the time he gets through.”
Eventually, he finished, and I decided that I now know what a quilt feels like.
Then the nurse began to bandage the sutures.
She bandaged, and bandaged, and bandaged, and …bandaged.
I changed my mind, “Frankenstein, nothing; I’m going to look like the Mummy.”
It certainly seemed like overkill. I obliged—going around for several days with my arms extended in my best mummy impersonation.
Today, it is very hard to detect that an incision was made at all. (My older son, Alex, is bummed. He thought a scar would be very cool.)
The doctor knew what he was doing. The suture line had to be long enough to keep the site from puckering.

Sometimes, God has to do surgery in our lives. I may be painful, appear unnecessary, seem excess. But, He knows what He is doing. He needs to cut the cancers out of our souls. And, many times, the healing process, is longer and more invasive than the surgery.
Fear not! When He is done, there won’t be any sign that there was ever a problem before.