Miscellaneous Musings

Published 11:15 am Sunday, June 9, 2024

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After eating many ears of sweet corn with melted butter and a little salt/pepper, I completely understand why hogs grunt, groan, root, and snoot when they are eating. Is there any vegetable that is more delicious? How fortunate we are to live in a county where sweet corn is as plenteous as gnats!

            I also have to mention the yellow, crooked neck squash a Sutton Chapel Church member brought me Sunday morning. Sautéed and mixed with a Vidalia onion makes a dish that is almost as good as that ear of corn.

            Then, I drove by this produce stand downtown and got a few big, red tomatoes that tasted just like tomatoes are supposed to taste. As the Rodgers and Hammerstein duo wrote in the Broadway musical, Carousel, “June is bustin’ out all over!”

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            Changing subjects. You’ve heard that life can “turn on a dime?” I looked up the origin of that phrase and found that it was used as early as 1881 and referred to a well-trained horse that could turn quickly, but in 1881, the saying was “turn on a five-cent piece.” I guess even sayings, like that, can be affected by inflation.

            Speaking of inflation, have you been to the grocery store lately? I go often because I don’t buy a lot at the time. Donna Sue says, “You just like the smell of gasoline.” I’m truly going to miss that smell when everybody has an electric car.

            Anyway, I promise you I had to look twice at the price of a quart of mayonnaise. I walked by the kiosk that had the brand of mayonnaise I used to buy and the price was $9.49! Talk about sticker shock. These days, if it’s not BOGO, I don’t buy it.

            I’m old enough to remember when grocery bags were brown paper and big. A full and heavy bag of groceries, way back then, was probably ten dollars. But, one thing is constant. Whether the mayonnaise is $9.49 or the fully packed bag of groceries was ten dollars, people still talk about the price of groceries. Some things never change, except the amount of groceries you can get for ten dollars.

            Back to life turning on a dime. As a pastor, I see many families whose lives turn on a dime, which means that circumstances can change so quickly. Most of the time, the circumstances involve sad situations. A person can be, seemingly, healthy one day, but it only takes a negative diagnosis of cancer or some other type of illness and things change quickly.

            I love all my church members, but, when one stays at the same church for a long time, like I have for 25 years, membership turns into friendship. Then, the suffering of a member and their family takes on a more personal sense.

            Classes in pastoral care warn preachers to be objective in their work. I think that is good advice, but there are times when unexpected situations hurt. While objectivity is a protective shield for emotions, it cannot prevail over real love. And it shouldn’t.

            The Apostle Paul wrote a chapter (13) in First Corinthians about real love and calls it “the most excellent way.” I paraphrase. If my language is as sweet as an angel, if I have perfect knowledge and faith so strong I can move mountains, if I am the most generous man on earth, yet fail to love God and others, I ain’t worth a flip!

            My friends, life does indeed turn on a dime. We have no time to waste in showing our love. My advice? Live life to the fullest and don’t forget that “heaping helping” of love!