When I came across this sample bumper sticker in a magazine article (on humorous bumper stickers) Monday while waiting on my appointment to see my oncologist…I laughed out loud, in the waiting room, because it brought back a wonderful memory.
I have never been good at math…so by the time I started junior high in Fayetteville, North Carolina I would get a a queasy stomach just walking in my math class. I was in the seventh grade and we had just started a new unit on fractions and percentages. Since I had never “gotten” fractions…I had acquired no foundation to build on to figure out percentages.
I was hopelessly lost and too embarrassed to ask for help. After the first nine weeks report card it was obvious I needed help. Apparently mother talked to my teacher and asked about getting me a math tutor. My teacher told mother that she would keep me after school twice a week and work with me…no charge.
…And because mother worked until five…she said she would bring me home those two afternoons…after she discovered she lived only a few blocks from our house.
Mother was so grateful and appreciative. I was horrified. I was stuck with my math teacher for another long hour after school…just her and me! But by the third session I was actually beginning to understand fractions and found myself really liking this young math teacher.
One afternoon after my tutoring session, I went to walk around the back of her car to the passenger side. I accidentally dropped my math book and while picking it up I noticed the bumper sticker…”4 out of 3 People Have Trouble with Fractions!” I stared at it a second, finally caught on, and burst out laughing. My teacher came around to see what had me so tickled and then she started laughing too.
On the way home she told me she hated math as a child and was terrible with fractions too…so when she saw this bumper sticker at a recent math conference she had to have it for her car. Suddenly my feelings of inadequacy slowly faded away…if my teacher once hated math and fractions but grew up to become a math teacher…surely I could learn fractions too…and I did.
My oncologist is young and has three adorable little children…we spend part of each appointment talking about her children and my grandchildren (exchanging smart phone photos) each visit between us. I had seen another adorable bumper sticker on the drive over Monday morning which reminded me of her.
It read…”Attitude On Board….and It Ain’t the Driver”! There was one arrow pointing to the passenger side and two arrows pointing to the back seats where I could see three little heads bobbing up and down from the side and back.
When I told my oncologist about the bumper sticker she laughed with tears in her eyes…”Exactly Right!” “I must write that one down.”
Haven’t we all experienced seeing verses appear in the strangest places with just the right message for us within the verse? That is what happened in the following Guidepost article “Verse of the Day” by Jeff Little.
It’s time for the verse of the day!” the radio DJ announced. “Isaiah 41:10: Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee…” The local Christian music station was my constant companion on my delivery drives, but until the DJ’s voice piped up, I’d barely been listening. Too many thoughts filled my mind. All the work I needed to do before my wife and I went away for the weekend.
If I could just get rid of my fears. I’d recently taken over the family business, a machine repair shop, and things hadn’t been going well. First, an employee brought a frivolous lawsuit against us, which crippled our finances. Then my shop manager and right-hand man had a heart attack. While he was recovering, I had to handle everything on my own. The stress and worry were eating me alive. I prayed, but was anyone listening?
My wife was convinced a weekend getaway to a scenic mountain town in North Carolina would help me relax. “It’ll be good for you, Jeff,” she said. I couldn’t imagine how. Not when the machine shop was on the edge of disaster.
After a few songs, the DJ spoke again. “For you listeners who missed it, the verse of the day is Isaiah 41:10: Fear thou not…” He read out the verse a second time. That was odd. I’d never heard them repeat the daily verse before.
Over the next few days, I struggled to figure out how to keep the business afloat. Soon the weekend arrived, and my wife wouldn’t let me back out of our plans. So we went. The mountain town was peaceful, but I’d lost the ability to relax. My wife and I ducked into a gift shop, and while she looked at postcards, I half-heartedly browsed the aisles, wondering how I could cut our trip short.
I stopped in front of a display of small cards. Each one was printed with a different name on the front and a different Bible verse on the back. Curious, I thumbed through and found mine. Jeffrey. I pulled it from the box and flipped it over.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee… Isaiah 41:10.
My fears lifted then. I knew I we would be okay, no matter what. I was listening now.
So until tomorrow…we keep talking about the messengers and messages made available to us in unexpected places at just the right times…letting us know God is listening to our prayers and responding accordingly to our needs.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
I have started getting ready for the Fourth…a little flag here, another there…another decoration hiding in the bottle tree.
Mollie just posted the most recent picture from the retirement retreat celebration for her dad, Bruce. The proud daddy of three beautiful daughters…from left to right…Whitney, Mollie, and Chelsey. (along with Mollie’s Rutledge and Chelsey’s Madeleine)
Adding to all the fun…the family had the “revealing” of the gender of Whitney’s baby…a little boy! That evens everything up…now Bruce and Marcia will be the proud grandparents of three grandsons and three granddaughters…*with Rutledge being the oldest grandson and Madeleine the oldest granddaughter!