I like Fridays, really I do. I like that industrious feeling I get knowing the weekend is coming up and I want to get things kind of spiffied up, the trash is out, new hair cut, stuff like that. As I was going about my calm afternoon’s business today, I had a sudden change in plans. Just too much to let it slide without a recap, I thought why not find a spiritual application to all this and share my ridiculous afternoon. After all, I DID keep my cool. Also, I hear it is good to laugh at oneself. That’s good, because I seem to do a lot of that lately.
Some of you may recall that a year, maybe two, ago I posted a picture of a pitiful little red sauce pan, blackened from being forgotten on a lit stove eye. Med high heat is good for boiling water until the pan boils dry. But on to the events of today.
For some reason, I went into the garage. I still have no idea what I was about to do. I noticed some small round black droppings under the cayenne pepper plant I pulled up yesterday and my husband had hung upside down to dry. These droppings were on top of a small cabinet with a plastic crate atop it, and in front of that a partial 12-pack of canned Cokes that had been there for about two years. Well, I couldn’t have worm stuff around all that! So intending to move said items and quickly sweep up, maybe put newspapers down until whatever is in the pepper plant is finished doing what damage it plans to do, I picked up the carton of Cokes. Do you know what two-year old cardboard that has suffered temperature changes will do with five heavy Coke cans inside? Yes, I do too. CLEAN UP ON AISLE 13, PLEASE!!!
Once I wiped the cola from my eyes, there I was standing in liquid sugar pooling more quickly than I could think of what to do. I have to mention also that I was wearing an air cast due to tendonitis in one heal, and on the other foot was the only shoe I have that balances out the height of the boot so that I don’t walk crooked. Covered in Coke. Concerned that the cola was running under the upright freezer, I grabbed a mop bucket, wash cloth, Formula 409, and the mop and began the cleaning. The more I cleaned, the more cola I found on something else. I promise you every surface in that quarter of the garage had Coca-Cola sprayed over it. I didn’t see the splatter on the door into the house and the steps until I’d started wiping down the wall above and beside the chest freezer, which along with the upright, looks really good now with their newly cleaned surfaces. I moved the welcome mat out to be rain washed as I saw a bank of black clouds rolling in. That’s about the time I began to think of God – the breeze with those clouds was a God send. (Why didn’t I give those Cokes away long ago? We never drink them! I just kept forgetting.)
As you can imagine, one job just led to another. Before I knew it, I had the little two-drawer cabinet taken apart, emptied, and rinsed with the water hose; also the pair of shutters I keep thinking I’ll make a neat project out of someday. About the time I thought I had the job done, I noticed Coke spatters all over the front of our Kubota mule. Now that’s not something I want to leave out in the rain because a good part of my gardening supplies are in it. So, wipe, rinse, wipe again. I’m thinking about that time, I REALLY needed to think of some scriptures. Patience, peace, joy, what are those fruits of the Spirit again? My mind wasn’t working with me. But what I did find the Spirit telling me was, “you have a garage, and it isn’t flooded; you have running water, and one heal that isn’t throbbing; and, you didn’t lose your cool (that’s right sister, I did not go from zero to 60 in a second) so right now, all you need to do is be thankful in everything” (Philippians 4:6).
I decided the quick wipe I gave the side of the car probably left some sticky residue, so I went inside to get the car key intending to back the car out for a rain rinse, though it still wasn’t raining. What met me inside the door was that unmistakable odor of hot metal. Remember the little tea pan? Oh, I had done it again! Before going out into the garage for that still unknown purpose, I had put a pan of water on to boil for tea. As I now ran across the living room, I was thinking, “great! now I’ll track this sticky stuff onto my newly mopped kitchen floor…” Also I was thinking, I didn’t know I COULD run with this boot on. Stove eye turned off, I returned to the garage, backed the car out, and put things back together thinking what an improvement! At least a fourth of the garage looked good! The rest was swept out and straightened up. As I looked around feeling I’d accomplished something after all, I saw a stream of brown liquid running out from under the trash can where I had thrown the cans and carton as my first step in cleaning up the mess. Like they say, you can’t make this stuff up! As I replaced the bag with a clean one, I thought, “I need a couple Tylenol, maybe a Tums, and certainly a shower. I’m finished.”
Shower done, I sat down to look up the fruits of the Spirit, which by the way, came to me easily once I was unwound; but what I did find was a reason to be glad for the unexpected work I had done. A study bible that belonged to my mother has “Consider This” articles among scriptures. This one in particular states “According to this (myth that work is a part of the curse), God punished Adam and Eve for their sin by laying the burden of work on them: ‘In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground’ (Gen. 3:19). That’s why work is so often drudgery…” In fact, the article points out, “The Bible never calls work a curse, but rather a gift from God (Eccl. 3:13; 5:18-19). God gave Adam and Eve work to do long before they ever sinned (Gen. 2:15), and He commends and commands work long after the fall.” While I may have made more work for myself today than was necessary, it felt good to have a clean garage. In it all I was given opportunity to be thankful for my blessings and to pray for those in flooded areas. I was reminded to think about scripture. I have a load of laundry done ahead of Saturday and Monday’s wash in order to get that pair of shoes washed. Who knows, and I never will, what I may have been about to do that would have been worse in consequences – okay, that may be going a bit too far, but who knows. As you start a new work week Monday morning, be thankful for the gift of work, provisions, and abilities. I will also be thankful for lessons learned. Never pick up an old carton until you test the bottom. I should also add my gratitude for a husband who is willing to come in after working hard and eat a plate of left-overs. I had a Klondike Bar. Feeling much better!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23