Friday, May 24, 2013

When devastation hits ...

I remember way back in my school days, a little exercise my teacher did with the class.  She asked a simple question ... What things would you take if your home was being destroyed by fire or act of nature? There was a catch; you only get to take what you can carry out one time. I immediately scanned my room in my mind.  Things? Hmmm...I panicked because there were so many 'things' on my dresser, in my drawers, in my closet, what about the rest of the house? How could I possibly choose? We had twenty minutes to write down our thoughts. A lot more time then if we were really in the midst of a storm or earthquake or flood. I closed my eyes tight expecting the list to just appear in my mind's eye. Nada. I opened my eyes and stared at  the blank foolscap paper waiting for me to fill in the lines. Such a long piece of paper; the teacher must be expecting a lengthy list. The more I thought the less I had to write down. I didn't get it? I had so many things. Every item was important, so it seemed. My pencil hovered over the paper. I should really put my name in the top corner; and oh yes, the date. Then the sound of the teacher's voice rang through the classroom.  "Pencils down." Was that really twenty minutes? She began to walk up and down the aisles collecting our papers. My heart was pounding so hard in my chest that I could swear the class could hear it.  As she came to my desk I handed her the blank sheet. She looked at it and back at me.  It was the longest minute of my life.  I gulped. Was I about to get my first F? Or worse yet my first detention? As her lips parted, I braced myself for a scolding, but instead I got a great big smile. The look of confusion on my face was met with a whisper "Well done."

It was then the light bulb went on.

Things are just that; things.

When devastation hits, those things that seemingly have importance and are things we can't possibly live without suddenly become nothing but unwanted weight...a burden.

Lesson learned.

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