Archive for Food for thought
Years ago, while driving from Tacoma to Phoenix on a cold, clear winter night, I was passing Mount Hood, as a full moon rose over the mountain’s peak. I gazed out the driver’s-side window, awed by the spectacle, and as I basked in the beauty of it something suddenly dawned on me; I was looking at the mountain and moon through the windshield of my pickup.
Unknowingly, while gawking at the awesome scene, I’d come upon a patch of black ice, and was spinning out of control counterclockwise.
There I was, believing I was gliding down the highway, and suddenly—due to not focusing on what was important—I found myself slip sliding away.
At times, when we fail to stay focused on God, we will be distracted by things of this world, and suddenly realize we’re going the wrong direction, out of control, and headed for trouble.
Miraculously, without any action by me, the pickup went full circle and was facing the right direction just as I reached the end of the patch of ice.
I pulled over at the next roadside rest area and attempted to calm my nerves. I even tried to sleep, but my eyes were stuck wide-open, so after I stopped shaking, I continued my journey.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14
We recently sold our house, and all in all it was no small accomplishment. As we approached the task of getting it ready to sell, I was struck by the enormity of what was before me. Our decision was somewhat sudden, and as I waded into the project I realized there were some problems. It was a big house—one of the reasons we decided it wasn’t right for us—and though we’d only lived there three plus years, we’d done a lot of work on it and accumulated a lot of “stuff”. Funny how that stuff thing happens.
Anyhow, one item on the list that we didn’t need to take with us was a 28’ extension ladder. I’d bought it the summer before, to paint the house, and only used it the one time. So, I put an attractive price on it—about half what I paid for it—and put it on Craig’s List, thinking somebody would snatch it right up. Didn’t happen. I’d sold several other items, but not one inquiry had come regarding the big ladder. As I pondered the situation one morning, I thought maybe one of the local contractors would be interested. I Googled “Trinity, Texas contractors”, and the first one on the list was Diamond Contracting. I’d seen their trucks and signs around town, but other than that knew nothing about them. (I can’t do anything really well, but I can do a lot of things just good enough to get by, so contractors are not often on my call list. I’ll call a plumber once in a blue moon, and an electrician when I fear I might get electrocuted doing it myself, but that’s about it.)
So, I sent an email to Diamond Contracting, and the secretary answered almost immediately with, “He said he’ll take the ladder, and wants to know if you have any other tools you want to sell.” My immediate reaction to having any other tools to sell was, no, but I started thinking about it and decided, yes, I have lots of tools I’d like to get rid of. The fact was, I had a whole two-car garage full of stuff—most of which I’d probably never need or use—that needed to be sold, given away, or disposed of.
I promptly sent them a list of items for sale, and the next afternoon, I had the immense pleasure of meeting Dominic Diamond. He was like a kid in a candy store and, long story short, bought everything I wanted to sell. We both felt like we’d found the pot at the end of the rainbow, and as he began to load the tools into his pickup (some of them are older than he is) I started pointing out freebies to him. A lot of it was good stuff, and some of it was nothing but throw-away. His eyes lit up as pointed at the myriad of things I needed to part with, and he said, “I’ll take everything you don’t want to keep. What I can’t use, I’ll get rid of for you.” Now, my eyes lit up.
I was still reveling in the wonder of the situation as Dominic opened the door to get into his pickup, when I realized he might have the answer to one of my biggest problems. “Wait!” I said. “Do you know where I can dispose of 25 or 30 old paint cans?” His answer—one that would become very familiar in the following week—was, “Got ya covered.” I told him about the mess the previous owner (and probably several before him) had left in the attic, and Dominic just grinned at me. When I’d finished the telling of my sad tale, he said, “I’ll send a couple guys over tomorrow. They can bring everything down from the attic and everything you need to get rid of we’ll handle it.” With that, he jumped into his truck and drove away. I was stunned.
The list of things Dominic did for me in the following days was enormous and I won’t even try to list them and tell you about them. And as the days went on and the list grew I realized none of this was a “luck thing”, it was all a “God thing”. As I recount all the good things that had happened—Dominic Diamond being the biggest by far—I realized God had been handling everything about the sale and move. All my perceived problems were not problems at all; to God they were a piece of cake. No step for a stepper, I like to say. (That’s a ladder pun by the way.)
Bet you thought it would be a picture of me. Well, I don’t blame you. Why else would I use a duck for my Facebook profile picture?
But no, this pic is about cleaning house—downsizing—and how it’s made me wonder over and over, where’d we get all this stuff?
In the last few weeks, we’ve done some serious purging, getting rid of things we don’t use. Some of those things hadn’t been used in ten years! We have thrown out at least a pickup load of absolutely worthless things, and given away a couple of pickup loads to a local charity shop (The House of Hope). And we’re not finished! What is it that causes us cling to possessions like we do? With me it’s often the old “I might need that someday” syndrome.
One of the rooms we haven’t gotten to yet in this recent purging effort is the kitchen. As I reached for “my” coffee mug this morning ( I’ve had it and used it daily since 2007) I realized there were a lot of coffee cups in the cabinet. I counted them, and found we own thirty-two coffee cups!
Granted, when we have lots of people over—that happens maybe two or three times a year—we need at least six or so coffee cups. So, doing the math—naught, naught, carry the naught—we still have approximately two dozen extra coffee cups. Yep, any way you look at it, that’s one ugly mug shot right there!