Friday, January 15, 2016

Hung Up On A Half Used Packet Of Sweet 'N Low

We all have, I'm convinced, little things that irritate us and often emanating from those we love most. Or from strangers, whatever strikes us at the moment. Let me give you an example. Monday through Saturday, I work out first thing in the morning at my fitness club. After lifting, I always eat some protein, like a hard boiled egg or some unsalted peanuts. Since you can never have enough caffeine, I make myself an iced coffee from the pot provided by the wonderful folks at Chancellors. And by iced coffee, I mean I dump my water bottle out, throw in some ice, and put the equivalent of a cup of  Maxwell House back in. It's not some elegant concoction- I'm always just in a hurry and I can drink it faster that way. To add a little taste, I take a Sweet 'N Low packet from the small plastic basket on the table. Now, back to the part about irritation. Every day when I reach for a packet, I find someone has left a half used packet of Sweet 'N Low in the basket. Who only uses a half a packet? Why don't they use the whole pack or at least throw the rest away? THAT'S WHAT IRRITATES ME!

This morning during one of my planning periods, I stopped by the office of Justin Lacey who handles press releases/public relations/communication for WCS. I ran an idea by Justin about our Honduras/Haiti project which will begin very shortly. A family associated with Westbury Christian for fifteen years has bought specially designed bank bottles for each of our students to use in collecting pennies/nickels/dimes/quarters to build and sustain Christian orphanages in those two impoverished countries. As I was about to leave, Justin handed me four pennies from his desk. He told me he'd found them in the parking lot and was saving them for the very project we were speaking of. I was happy- we make a big deal of telling our kids that every penny counts and adds up to help the ones who can't help themselves. And when we make that big deal, we mean it.

As I've thought this afternoon about getting prepared to kick off our involvement in Honduras and Haiti, I was struck with my own hypocrisy concerning the sugar substitute. I looked on line and found that a packet of Sweet 'N Low is roughly two cents each so saving one half of it would....... save a penny or just what we tell our kids from kindergarten through 12th grade has great value. My high school classes today tested over the Sermon On The Mount and I reminded them about Jesus' admonition of taking the log out of your eye before pointing out your brother's speck. I hate being the bad example but sometimes logs come disguised as little pink packets. I mean, half of little pink packets.

Applicable quote of the day and it's my longest in ten years:“I use the chopsticks to outline the biggest heart possible. Then I use the Sweet'N Low packets to fill it in. I borrow some from two other tables when I run out.
When I'm done, I point to the heart on the table.
"This," I say, "is only about one ninety-millionth of how I feel about you."
She laughs.
"I'll try not to take it personally," she says.
"Take what personally?" I say. "You should take it very personally."
"The fact that you used artificial sweetener?"
I take a Sweet'N Low and fling it at her.
"Not everything is a symbol!" I shout.”
David Levithan, Every Day

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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