31 Aug

I’ve Never Had That Problem!

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, called last week when I was researching a question that sometimes plagues folks. I was looking for suitable answers for a discussion about dealing with someone who thinks they are better than you? My old neighbor had to inform me that he could not help me because he has never had that problem. If it ever would be a problem facing Ed, he would just ignore the person as one would an offensive smell, after a few days you don’t notice the odor anymore.

I was considering that if someone is better than we are in something, it may be a matter of talent or training and we need not be jealous. We could consider what we might learn from their abilities. The recent Olympics reminds us that even when athletes were competing in the same sport, and they are all talented, some proved better than others. We need to be respectful of the person who has performed better than we did. We humbly acknowledge the winner and celebrate their victory for talent is God given. For fame, we can be grateful, but it is fickle and fleeting. It is not wise to envy another’s fame for it may well change the person from better to big-headed.


31 Aug

Every Family Has a Proud Mary or Larry

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, told me his cousin Larry arrived for a visit from Edmonton last weekend. My old friend never misses a chance to exaggerate, so he said that his cousin kept his nose so high in the air that his small brain lacked oxygen. At least, Ed did not label his cousin Larry, a pompous donkey, this time, as he has been prone to do in the past. According to Ed, Larry does not have even one tiny humble bone in his body. His cousin was an unbending authority on everything the whole time they visited. I can imagine a hard weekend for everyone having two unending experts under one roof.

We often become keenly aware of the self-centered, arrogance of others, but believe our attitudes and lives are free of pride. It has been said that humility is a virtue all preach, none practice and that no one takes seriously that pride goes before a fall. Pride is not the so blessed assurance that we are ahead of, or wiser than, and better than others. Humility according to Ivan O. Miller is, “Such a frail and delicate thing that he who dares to think that he has it, proves by that single thought that he has it not.” Humility is very tough for us because as Spurgeon said, “Humility is to make a right estimate of oneself.”


30 Aug

Be Aware, Don’t Assume You Are Safe

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, always checks to hear if there was a recent crime in our neighborhood. There has been a stabbing, bank robbery, and murder in our neighborhood in the year we have been here. It isn’t just our city, where crime is relentless. I asked Ed if there was now no crime in Melville, Saskatchewan, and his answer was that our lawlessness seemed more interesting to him than the crime there.

Crime is always ready to attack the unaware. I reported when Ed called yesterday that a couple went to our city hospital for a procedure for the husband. While the wife waited for her husband in the waiting room, her purse was stolen. She reported it to the police from the hospital. When her husband came from his procedure, they went to their car in the parking lot. There they found a man starting their car. The thief had the wife’s car keys from her stolen purse. The husband tried to stop the thief from stealing their car. The driver of the stolen car ran the owner of the car down. The owner of the car sustained two broken legs. Criminals have no concern for their innocent victims. 


30 Aug

Keep Going When It Is Overload, And You Want To Quit

I didn’t hear from Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, for two weeks. He called yesterday to say he was preoccupied with his visiting, fourteen year-old-grandson, from Edmonton. He was helping Ed out at his farm. The first week, Chase, the grandson was pretty enthusiastic about all the machinery and being able to drive a tractor under Ed’s supervision. As the second week continued under Ed’s thorough training and instruction, Chase became tired of being a farmer in training. It became a challenge for Ed also until he realized that he could not make a farmer out of a city kid in two weeks. He had tried to teach his grandson everything possible about farming, but it was an overload for his grandson that left him fainthearted about being at the farm.

Like Ed’s grandson, we may start an endeavor enthusiastically, but not continue excitedly about it until we finish. When we plant a garden in the spring, we are excited about the prospects of future growth and produce. By late August, or early September we may have grown tired of weeds, and watering and all things gardening. It is hard to persevere at gardening if you experience the challenge of hand, knee or back pain. Some years it is hard to garden in Saskatchewan because the mosquitoes are so thick and hungry that you almost need a blood transfusion after they attack you when you are gardening. What we seek to do, can turn out to involve so many challenges and problems that we may grow fainthearted, and consider quitting the task temporarily or permanently.


30 Aug

Time Disappears When You Are Talking

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, called yesterday when I wasn’t in the apartment. The wife said that I would probably be back after about an hour or two as I was gardening. My old neighbor did skype again later, but I was still out.

Some days you get delayed because others keep talking to you. At the community gardens, I had a long talk with a fellow gardener, about everything gardening. My beans took a long time to pick because I was busy talking. When I came home, I had been away so long that I ended up skyping Ed. He complained that only retired folks could waste time talking. 


1 Aug

Summertime Is Sweating Time, Even While Doing Nothing

In his latest call, Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, informed me that a day of thunderstorms was a welcome relief from their hot weather. He told me he was tired of sweating even when he was doing nothing. It had been so hot it was hard to sleep.

I asked Ed why he had not put his central air on at night so he could sleep in coolness. My old neighbor did have his central air on, but he had a restless sleep concerned that the coolness was costing money on his power bill. Ed also gets concerned about the gas bill in the winter to stay warm. My old neighbor can fixate on what anything is costing him.