Leigh Currey Merrifield – Editor
Let me just tell you at the onset that these are not Webster’s definitions. These are ‘examples’ that define things. Allow me to get right to the point.
– Once all the villagers decided to pray for rain. On the day of prayer, all the people gathered, but only one little boy came with an umbrella! That defines FAITH.
– When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know you will catch them. That defines TRUST.
– Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning, but still we set the alarm to wake up. That defines HOPE.
– We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future. That defines CONFIDENCE.
– We see the world suffering, but still we get married and bring children into the world. That defines LOVE.
– On an old man’s shirt was written “I am not 80 years old; I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience”. That defines ATTITUDE.
Those are just a few examples of short little sentences that define things that are important. At other times, however, sometimes the defining story has a little more length. Here is a great example of that ……………
– It was Molly’s job to hand her father his brown paper lunch bag every morning before he left for work. One morning, in addition to his usual lunch bag, Molly handed him a second paper bag. This one was worn and held together with duct tape, staples, and paper clips.
“Why two bags?” her father asked. Molly answered, “The other is something else.”
“What’s in it?” her father asked. She answered, “Oh, it’s just some stuff for you to take with you.”
Not wanting to hold court over the matter, he stuffed both sacks into his briefcase, kissed his daughter and rushed off. At midday, while hurriedly scarfing down his real lunch, he tore open Molly’s bag and shook out the contents: two hair ribbons, three small stones, a plastic dinosaur, a pencil stub, a tiny sea shell, two animal crackers, a marble, a used lipstick, a small doll, two chocolate kisses and 13 pennies.
He smiled, finished eating, and swept his desk clean – into the wastebasket – leftover lunch along with Molly’s junk and all. That evening, Molly ran up behind him as he read the paper and asked, “Where’s my bag?”
“What bag?” he replied. “You know,” she said, “the one I gave you this morning.”
“Oh, I left it at the office,” he said. “Why do you ask?”
She said, “I forgot to put this note in it, and those were my things in that sack, Daddy, the ones I really like. I thought you might like to play with them, but now I want them back. You didn’t lose the bag, did you?”
“Oh, no,” he fibbed. “I just forgot to bring it home. I’ll bring it tomorrow.”
While Molly hugged her father’s neck, he unfolded the note that had not made it into the sack. It said, “I love you, Daddy.”
Molly had given him her ‘treasures’ – all that a 7-year old held dear. Love in a paper sack, and he had missed it – not only missed it, but had thrown it in the wastebasket. So back he went to the office. Just ahead of the night janitor, he picked up the wastebasket and poured the contents on his desk. First he washed the mustard off the dinosaurs and then sprayed the rest of her things with air freshener so they wouldn’t smell like the onions from his leftover lunch. He carefully smoothed out the wadded ball of brown paper, put the treasures back inside and carried it home gingerly – like an injured kitten. The bag didn’t look so good, but the stuff was all there and that’s what mattered.
After dinner, he asked Molly to tell him about the stuff in the sack. It took a long time to tell! Everything had a story or a memory or was attached to dreams and imaginary friends. Fairies had brought some of those ‘treasures’. He had given her the chocolate kisses, and she had kept them for when she needed them.
“Sometimes I think of all the times in this sweet life when I must have missed the affection I was being given. A friend of mine calls this ‘standing knee deep in the river and dying of thirst’,” her father recalled. “We should all remember that it’s not the destination that counts in life – it’s the journey … the little girl smiles, the dinosaurs and chocolate kisses wrapped in old paper bags that we sometimes throw away too thoughtlessly. Each day … each tiny treasure.”
This lengthier piece defines WHAT REALLY MATTERS. It’s the journey with the people we love that counts. It’s a simple truth that is so easily forgotten. And, by the way, this was a true story AND a very good example to follow. Just some ‘food for thought’ ……………..