Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Struggling through the Journey

When I turned 16, I took a morning paper route delivering The Montgomery Advertiser. I had a very large route, covering some 25 miles or so around my small town. Because of the size of the route, I drove my parents car to make deliveries. My brother, who is 23 months younger than me, worked with me on the route.

A little information might be helpful about my brother. At that age, he was really not a morning person (he still isn't). I generally would wake up five or ten minutes before the alarm went off, jump out of bed, get dressed, and was ready to go in less than five minutes. My brother on the other hand wasn’t quite as excited about getting up at 4:00 AM to deliver the paper.

Our assignments on the route was simple: I drove the car and threw the papers on the left hand side of the car. My brother was to roll the papers as I drove and throw the papers on the right hand side of the car. Sounds simple enough, right? But, almost every day, a problem arose. The first four deliveries were on my side of the road. So, when we picked up the newspapers from the local gas station, we would sit for about five minutes and roll as many papers as we could. Then, we would head out on our route. On more than one occasion, I threw my four papers on my side of the road, kept downing around the block to our next three deliveries, all on my brother’s side of the street, only to realize that he had fallen asleep from the time I had thrown my papers until he was supposed to throw his papers.

As brothers can do, when situations like that arose, I often lost my cool with him, dare I say I lost my temper with him. One particular morning comes to mind quite easily for me. I had thrown my papers, he was suppose to throw his papers, and once again he had fallen asleep. In the heat of the moment, I said to him, “Did you know what an imbecile you are?” He kind of stared back at me, but didn’t say anything.

About a week passed. We were again on our paper route. About halfway through our morning’s deliveries, my brother said, “I know what you meant!” I said, “You know what I meant? Meant about what?” He replied, “I know what you meant when you called me an imbecile.” I replied, “Oh, how did you figure that one out?” His answer is a classic: “I finally found it in the dictionary!”

What do you say to a statement like that? He had finally found the meaning of the word in the dictionary. Took him a week, but he did find it.

I'm afraid, at times, we are all just a little slow. For me, I'm slow in math. I can be slow in grammar as well, thank goodness for spell/grammar check on my word processor. I work hard to correct those problems, just like my brother did with his knowledge of the word imbecile.

What do you struggle with the most? Words? Grammar? Math? Social settings? Friendships? How about in your relationship with God?

Don't give up in your search for improvement, especially as it relates to God. I promise you, the journey will be worth it. I'm not sure I can say the same thing about my math journey!


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