Thursday, August 10, 2006

My Father's Wisdom

I haven't written much that is substantive lately, and this post will be no exception. By the time I've finished with my other duties lately, I've been too worn out to have a go at serious blogging. All the guys I have linked are serious guys, if I get too fluffy go and see them. I hope to be recovered enough soon to enlarge your spiritual horizons.

Instead of being exegetically deep today, I want to write a little story about a very serious talk I once had with my father. He is a very funny guy, accidentally so, and that adds to the charm, for people are often funniest when they aren't trying to be.

There was a time in my left when I was terribly foolish and in constant danger of sinful idiocy, even more so than now. My problem was that I was a young, celibate, and lonely man. This can be a disastrous combination for a servant of the Lord if he is not cautious...and sometimes even when he is. All he needs is a young, celibate, and lonely woman to come along and all sense and reason may fly beyond all hope of recall. (<--stolen from Tolkien.) This story picks up in the aftermath of a broken relationship, and a very sad and still celebate young man whose dreams of family, marriage, and....other stuff had recently been dashed on the upon the rocks of heartbreak.

I couldn't figure out what the problem was. Everything had seemed to fit. She was a Christian; I was a Christian. She was single; I was single. She wanted to do ministry; I wanted to do ministry. And then she was gone, leaving me in gloom, despair, and agony. (<--stolen from Hee-Haw).

My father noticed that I was in the depths of what he calls the "mully-grubs" and asked me what the problem was. I told him that I was bummed because of the recent break-up. He listened patiently, and he nodded at the appropriate times. When I had finished my melodrama, he began this story which I hope never to forget, and to ensure that this jewel of wisdom should never perish, I now share it with you.

"Son," he said, "when I was a little boy I used to love to eat ketchup sandwiches. I'd get a couple slices of bread, lather them in ketchup, and then I'd chow down. I loved those sandwiches! The only problem was that my mom would barely let me have one, and when she did, I had to go easy on the ketchup."

He stooped a little lower then, and spoken more softly, as if to let me in on a conspiracy. "But one day, mom and dad left and I was at home alone. I seized the opportunity. It would be a grand day, a high day, a day never to be forgotten. I would eat all the ketchup sandwiches that my heart desired. I pulled my chair up to the fridge, got the bread down and got the ketchup. I even put on a cloth for a bib. When all was made ready, I commenced to feasting. I slathered on the ketchup, not one corner of the bread was left barren. When I placed the slices together, the ketchup would simply ooze. Such was the enthusiasm of my ketchup spread."

He continued, "I'm not sure how many sandwiches I ate that afternoon, but it must have been ten at least. That's when the unexpected happened. In my lust for the forbidden sandwhich, I had glutted myself until I was sick. I mean seriously sick. I got so sick that from that day forward, I never ate another ketchup sandwich. In fact, I find the whole idea of such a combination repulsive to this day."

He finished his story and nodded sagely. I was confused, and a little bit aggravated, thus I asked the question that he had baited me for.

"Dad," I exclaimed, "what was the point of that story?"

He sat up, casting away the conspiratorial look for one of a lecturing professor, "Here's the point, son. I thought that ketchup sandwiches were wonderful, but anybody with half-sense knows that it is a disgusting combination. And eating ten of them, why even someone in your downcast condition can see how utterly stupid that is. My point, dear son, is that you've been eating the ketchup sandwiches this girl's been feeding you for the past few months, and you don't even know it. You're all happy because you think you're eating a steak, and I'm telling you you've had plain bread and ketchup. Now, you're fairly sick, and I personally hope it takes. When you get as sick over this thing that isn't going to work as I was over that last sandwich, you'll be able to figure out a decent relationship when it comes along. If not, you'll marry the next girl you can get to date you long enough to get down the aisle, then you will sure enough be in a sick mess!"

I was stunned. I was stunned because he was right, and because this was possibly the funniest thing I had ever heard. The effect was nearly magical, for I was cured almost instantly from the mully-grubs. After a few moments contemplation, he went out to smoke, and I went to get a Dr. Pepper.

1 comment:

Even So... said...

...deep dark depression, excessive misery...

mmmm, mmmmm, goooood....