Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It is a matter of focus

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

I am always amused by conversations.

I like to track their direction, it is a fun pastime. If left to themselves a conversation will typically end nowhere near where it started.

Often times I will ask myself, “How did we get here.” It is not much different from taking a trip without a map or a purpose. You could drive along and at the end of the day ask yourself the very same thing. Sometimes, it gets a little worse with, “Where the heck are we?”

There are times when I like to let conversations go, just to see where they end up.

Other times I am laser focused.

There are many people that walk into my office and want to have a conversation.

Back on the farm, we had a dog named Fishmonger.

Fishmonger was a purebred Scotty Terrier.

I am really confused why people name their purebred dogs some goofy name. I guess that is why I like mutts. Nobody ever questions why you named your mutt Ralph, or Larry, or Abe. But a purebred, now that is a different story; it seems that if you don’t name it some frufu, or goofy name people think you’re weird. Fishmonger was too long of a name for everyday use so we just called her Fish, which looking back was even stranger. When we told people that we had a dog named Fish eyebrows usually lifted.

Personally, I think Fish would have been happier with a name like Cathy, or Emma Jean. I think that Fish was a little embarrassed having the name Fish. When we would call her, she pretended as if she did not hear us. I bet if her name was Cathy or Emma Jean she would have come lickity split.

Fish was not just a good mouser, she was a great mouser; her favorite pastime was hunting mice.

My sister Katie had a cat named Bootslie. I am not sure why his name was Bootslie, I never saw him wear boots. For that matter, I never saw him wear shoes either. There was that one time I was sure he was walking around in Birkenstocks but that is another story.

One day all us kids were sitting on the living room floor, arguing. Actually, we were playing a board game but Mary the eldest, the boss of her smaller siblings kept changing the rules, and the rest of us took offense, thus the arguing. This always happened when we played board games, for the life of me I do not know why we played them; I guess we liked to argue as much a play the game.

We were all sitting on the floor and here comes Bootslie; he had something in his mouth.

I watched as he ran up into Katie’s lap and promptly dropped a live mouse in it; pandemonium ensued.

My three sisters jumped up on the furniture, another social tradition that I do not know the roots of, and started to scream. I was rolling on the floor laughing; boys are not affected by mice the same way girls are, I don’t know why.

Fish, who was lying next to us the whole time jumped into action, she scoops up the mouse, runs to the door, mom opens the door, Fish goes outside and dispatches the mouse.

Bootslie never saw Fish grab the mouse and spent the rest of the night looking under every piece of furniture for her mouse. I am convinced that Fish was a lot smarter than Bootslie, but don’t tell my sister.

One of my chores in the morning was feeding the horses.

Every morning I would take a bale of hay, break the leaves of the bale apart and give each horse a leaf; a leaf is a section of the bale, just in case you were getting a mental image of a tree or something.

Fish loved to help me feed the horses.

Fish would wait by the bale, poised for the chase. I would let her get ready and then lift the bale quickly off the ground. There were usually three or four mice under the bale. When I lifted the bale, the mice would scatter in different directions. Fish would start to chase one, change her mind, and then go after another. I do not think she ever caught a mouse when she helped me feed the horses.

Fish lacked focus.

Many times when I am counseling people, they want to throw me off, especially when we are starting to get to a place of pain or shadows in their life.

They try to change direction in hopes of having me follow them.

I am reminded of a conversation Jesus had with a woman. She was a Samaritan woman. As He talked with her she kept changing the subject, Jesus kept bringing her back to center. By the end of the conversation she knew who she was talking to, not because He told her, but because He did not let the conversation go off into left field.

Read John 4:1-42.

Christ has taught me a lot of things.

One of them is focus.

When we talk with people let us have the focus to communicate Christ to them in a way that they will hear.



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