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Topic: The Importance of Being Earnest (not about the play) (08/04/11)
TITLE: Sour Old Lemons
By Jennifer Hill
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The first instance happened before 8AM in the morning at our yard sale. One man was carrying a weed-wacker he planned to purchase. It was $10 and needed some mechanical attention to get it working proper again. A second man climbed out of his truck and tried to grab the lawn care device. The second man stated he was going to buy the item. The first man said, “I have it in my hands, I’m buying it.” To his credit he said nothing else and remained calm. While the second man stormed off, rattling off a list of colorful words and slamming the door of his truck and peeling off down the road. Never mind the kids nearby with the lemonade stand, watching and listening.
My young preteen sons laughed at this display of a fifty year old grumpy man. The adults shook their heads and got a laugh too. In my head though, I thought you’re kidding right? This guy was fifty-something and he didn’t know how to be fair at a yard sale. The rest of our yard sale was pretty uneventful. None of the children who came once tried to take something out of another’s hands either, I’m happy to report.
That evening we ran a trip to the local super-center. There we picked up a few things and made our way to self-checkout. There we stood waiting patiently in line. My boys were hungry but they didn’t complain. We were picking up pizza on the way home. All of a sudden the man at the self-checkout, three people ahead of us yells, “I just want my beer!”
This guy looked to be in his forties, still in his work clothes. I’m sure he had worked hard that week, but that is no excuse to throw a fit. Here’s this guy all bent out of shape because the tiny checkout girl isn’t moving fast enough to assist him. Here he is on a busy Friday night, wanting to purchase a 12 pack and he’s yelling at the top of his lungs for his beer! By the way the cute baby nearby is not yelling for his bottle.
The poor cashier looks up, she can’t be more than 19. Everyone is looking at this guy. Many dirty, disgusted looks are headed his way. I’m thinking, great is he going to wait to crack those open? Will he be on the road with us on our way home? I say a quick prayer, knowing again my boys are watching and listening.
The next day we find ourselves sitting at a light. We get the turn light and the car in front of us makes the turn. I pull out and almost half way through the turn, a SUV storms through right in front of us running his red light! I lay on the horn. What was he thinking? At the next light, he’s giving me nasty looks in his mirror. His friends in another SUV a few cars back take to the brim of the road and practically side swipe us, to make a turn on red(we were going straight).
My boys had their third story to tell in less than 24 hours. As the day went on we didn’t run into any more crazy men, chasing silliness in earnest.
However, I did take the opportunity to talk to my boys about how important it is to live a good life. One that is sincere and genuine. To carry themselves dignified, in a manner that is pleasing to God at all times, to commit their way to His way of living, to be devout and heartfelt in all their choices.
One of the first Bible verses my sons ever memorized is one I like to start as a question and they answer it. “How does a young man keep his way pure, by living according to your word.” Psalm 119:9 Being earnest towards living for God is a serious and passionate matter. One that can even be taught when life hands you some sour old lemons in the form of grumpy men!
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