Wisecracks

Avoid Readers or They Will Start Reading To You

Ed, my neighbor next door, cannot believe anyone can waste time reading the way I do. Yesterday, when Ed came out his backdoor to have a cigarette, I was in our gazebo reading. There had just been enough rain the day before to keep him from combining at his farm. He was in a sarcastic mood and called across the fence, “If you don’t stop reading, you are going to lose touch with reality. After you read one more book, you will start playing with the squirrels on our street.”

“Speaking about squirrels, can I tell you about a squirrel that I read about in California?” I asked Ed. He refused to hear about the squirrel unless I wanted to pay him $20 to hear about it.

“Never mind,” I said. “Do you want to hear what I just read about $20?” Ed said that it was okay, as long as, I was quick, so I read; “If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was worth it.”Ed just shook his head but didn’t say anything, so I quickly read a few more quotes before he made a fuss.

I read these quotes to Ed: “Never buy a car you can’t push. When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have the longer you live.” Of course, Ed had a saying that he had to contribute. He described it as much better than any of the lame quotes that I read to him.

Ed’s saying was, “Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.” Then he had to leave. He said he didn’t want me to read to him, as if, he was a little kid. I never did get to tell him about the squirrel in California. I wanted to tell him how I read that a cute little ground squirrel was recently captured in California’s Angeles National Forest. The squirrel was tested and found to be infected with bubonic plague. As a result, three campgrounds in the forest: Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow and Pima Loops were closed until the area could be sprayed to eliminate the fleas that spread bubonic plague.

The story about the squirrel knocked my socks off. I couldn’t believe that bubonic plague is still around today. I guess like sin it never goes away but is lurking around to stir up death and destruction when the conditions are favorable. Sin has become a meaningless term as many people today refuse to consider sin as any real threat to themselves or others. There is often little true fear and love of God. God is not held above all else, his name is misused, and his public worship scorned and ignored. Honoring parents, not murdering, not committing adultery, not stealing, not slandering, and not coveting are considered outdated. It is estimated by the time a person is 16 years old, he or she will have seen more than 15,000 murders on television. We live at a time when sin is glorified instead of discouraged. Sin has power and potential for suffering and death for all. Think of sin as catching bubonic plague. Thankfully, Jesus is sin’s cure.

 

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Raymond Maher
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