Weekly Thought – June 16, 2020
Fred always said he taught himself to think and write in telegram style – the most content in the fewest words. That is the reason he wanted his headstone to read: “He stretched others.” Many of his “one-liners,” as he called them became favorites of his consulting clients, speaking audiences, and readers. They were a code language for the Smith family who grew up hearing and quoting them.
Wait To Worry
Once I was speaking to a couples’ Christian conference. A few days afterwards I received a letter from the President of a chocolates company, accompanied by a large box of candy. “Wait to worry” is the finest thing that has ever happened to my wife.
If you come to our house in Cincinnati we will show you a framed white towel hanging on our bedroom wall. Strange thing to do? My friends know I can be odd, but this seemed to take the cake. Here is the story: Mary Alice called the children in for dinner. Our son Fred lagged behind wanting the last minutes of mud play. She, of course, said “Go wash your hands and face and get in here to eat.” Too late she remembered she had hung up sparkling new white towels. She quickly walked down the hall only to find a perfect set of muddy handprints where he had dampened the digits and placed them neatly on the towel. Needless to say, she wasn’t happy!
I decided to hide the towel. Three years later I took the towel to a framing shop and then presented the objet d’art to Mary Alice. You know what happened, don’t you? She began crying and saying, “Aren’t they sweet? Aren’t they sweet?” Three years earlier those weren’t the words she uttered.
There is no amount of money she would take for that framed towels and those muddy handprints.
One of our family sayings has been: “What you worry about today you will laugh about tomorrow.”
Sometimes when things get tense around our house, our children have learned to stop me by saying, “Dad, is this something we will laugh about later?” It usually is. I remind myself to laugh or have high blood pressure.
It is an emotional and mental discipline to step outside the current panic, taking a long range view. I read a study about worry which interested me. One of the findings was 80% of the things we worry about today will not happen, will work out favorably, or be totally forgotten in one year. Doesn’t it make sense to wait to worry?
(Editor’s note: That framed towel hangs today in the home of Fred’s “offender” son in Tyler, Texas.)
This week think about: 1) What am I worrying about that needs to be put in the “wait” column? 2) When have I laughed about something that seemed earth-shattering at the time? 3) How can I model faith and not fear for my family?
Words of Wisdom: “Wait to worry.”
Wisdom from the Word: “And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27 NET Bible)