Sunday, January 08, 2017

Play As In Doh

I've mentioned on occasion that I begin classes using a short bit of video with a connection, most days, to what we'll be covering. Sometimes I show something just because it's good for my students to see. Often, the choice is from, a Christian-based website which catalogs and offers short parts of films on a variety of topics. Last Tuesday, I used a selection from a movie I haven't seen, How Do You Know. It stars Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd and some other folks who aren't in the clip so I'm not giving them credits here! Paul's character has taken Reese's character out to dinner and gives her a gift. (It takes her an eternity to unwrap, reminding me of our mom.) When she finds out the present is a container of Play-Doh, she is less than thrilled. Paul tells her it's only half of the gift and the other half is the story of how Play-Doh came to be. If you can win a lady's heart with words, Paul played a winning hand.

The movie script checks out factually. Joe McVicker's Ohio family had invented a gooey substance which removed soot emanating from wood and coal stoves from walls. When the country after World War II turned to gas and electric heating, their product was in great danger of becoming obsolete. But McVicker's sister-in-law, who taught young children, found the kids loved playing with the substance and after adding coloring and her suggested name, Play-Doh was born and the rest is toy history. It's all right  there on the Internet!

I'm not sure I remember any Play-Doh in our house as a kid but certainly was exposed to it at school. (One of the best chapel talks I ever heard was by my brother, Scott, at FCS but you'll have to ask him about the details.) Here's the point I made to the kids; problems can be blessings in disguise and heartaches can turn your life around, although the turning might take years to come into view. Right after I showed that clip to my 8th period 8th graders, there was a knock on the door. It was Leslie, who graduated from WCS several years ago. She played on our girls' varsity basketball team and she was good. She wasn't the most physically gifted or skilled athlete we'e had but I think she was one of the two or three toughest, a girl with a bright basketball future. But a couple of devastating knee injuries wiped out her legitimate chances to be a very good college player. I asked her what she was studying and she is going into the medical field. I made the point that if she hadn't been injured, her academic successes might have been tempered. Her loss might turn out to be her gain, although some tough medicine to swallow.... and Leslie agreed. 

Isn't that just like the characters in the Bible? Can you think of one whose life is heavily chronicled who didn't have missteps and pain? Look at Old Testament women like Ruth and Esther and Abigail. Ruth was a foreigner who became a widow at a young age. Esther was a minority who had to hide her true identity from her husband. And Abigail was married to the biggest jerk ever before he died and she married David. Their detours led to happier destinations than the roads they had been traveling. No one likes to be devastated and few like starting over. Yet doesn't that factor into our Father's plans for us? Take another look at Isaiah 64 and verse 8:
"Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." 
It takes time for clay to be molded. I was in the art room when Shelby, one of my players, turned in her clay sculpture, a puppy in the back of a pick up truck, to Mrs. Harper. Shelby lamented there were places she's still like to reshape and perfect. Maybe that's like God is with us; a smoothing here and a chipping away here. After all, we are human and require some intricate touching up.  And what was it Adam was created from? Clay-Doh! OK, I just made that up!

Applicable quote of the day:
"John Davis smells like Play-Doh. When we were in elementary school, it wasn't a big deal. I mean, we were kids. Play-Doh was pretty high on the awesome scale. But there comes a time when a guy should stop smelling like crafting supplies and develop a more manly scent, like campfire or gym floor."
Tammy Blackwell

To watch the wingclip short piece, click or copy/paste link below!

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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