Recently, we shared an old email post, one of the “Classics” which I had received many years ago, entitled, “The Scientists and Dirt.”
I think this is the first time I’ve added to one of these shared stories, as I always feel that they stand alone, and I always post them without any introduction or comment.
I pray every day that I will think the right things, do the right things, and say the right things.
“Think right, do right.”
The biggest trouble I seem to always have is not saying the right thing. Usually, this is some light-hearted comment I’ve made, which I meant well by saying, but … I should have been more serious at the time. It’s just that I have so much joy inside, that, often, it “gets the best of me,” and I joke when maybe I shouldn’t. Among my concerns is always this:
If I am perceived as a joker … What happens when I try to share the Gospel … Or, just try to share something which God has done for me?
However … sometimes … even I … yes, me … can say the right thing at the right time. I mean, it can happen, can’t it? So, I had one of those moments recently, which I’d like to share. Something I said … just one word (maybe that’s the secret?) … one moment in time, when I actually said the right thing, at the right time. You know … one of those moments when, to yourself, you give yourself a “high five” …
I was in need of some dirt. No … not “topsoil,” which certain people call it. When I need to fill a hole, or add a new layer … I need dirt, period.
I try to work outside as much as possible in those few weeks we get to do so, and so I am always in need of at least a couple of bags of dirt. Yes, I buy dirt. Don’t laugh: Not long ago, I can remember when the thought of actually buying “water” was far-fetched. I tried digging some dirt from one spot, and filling in another spot, but then … I would have to go back to the original spot and buy some dirt to fill the hole … well, you get the idea.
So I needed some dirt, so I went to the “large department store” in our town. You all know the one: Where you can buy fertilizer and groceries in the same building. You can even put them in the same cart! When it comes to dirt, I just want a bag of dirt … so, I go to where I can get it the cheapest … After all, it’s just dirt …
Anyway, I cruised the parking lot to make sure that the dirt I wanted was there … it was … and, I wrote the price down (yes I did!) to have it ready at checkout …
All I needed was dirt, so I went to the “20 items or less” EXPRESS LINE … Yes, I spent the 20 minutes in line counting the individual items in the carts ahead of me! Finally, after thinking, “Look-I’ll pay the extra for the “price-check,” my turn finally came!!!
After a friendly greeting, I advised that I wanted to buy 6 bags of topsoil … being in the city and all, I figured I’d use language they’d understand. She said something like, “No problem,” and then picked up that black notebook … the one that has all of the items with the barcodes printed, in order to scan my purchase …
She couldn’t find it. I thought about how many types of dirt, or “topsoil” could there be …
How about I just give her the price from my note sheet I had used to record the price from the parking lot? Funny me … I did not think to write down the bar code with the price …
Funny how you don’t mind being there “as long as it takes” when it is you holding up the Express Line … How dare those people think those thoughts about you (which, by the way, were the same thoughts you had when you were 3 back in line) … Anyway, too late to make such a short story short … But, here goes with the whole idea behind the story … How I finally said the right thing at the right time … And, you guessed it … it came without thinking …
The young lady looked up at me, after going through page after page of barcodes … and, she innocently asked, “Who makes it?”
My one word reply:
She looked at me with one of those looks I often get:
A cross between, “That’s the greatest line I’ve ever heard,” and,
“This guy is nuts!”
I pray I can be that “nutty” in the future.