Blog Posted:1/2/2014 12:46:00 PM
I heard a story once by a speaker at church. It was a long time ago but I remember basically how it went. Don't worry ... I'm not getting religious here, but the story came to mind this morning while I was thinking about changes for the new year. It was something like this....
When i was a boy growing up in Arkansas, things were as simple as you could want. I got up in the morning, milked the cow, fed the pigs and chickens, and went to school. When I got home, I would help my father on our small farm. We ate our meals together, and after we would sit and listen to the radio or just visit with one another. One day, all of that changed. A visiter came into our house one day and we welcomed him with open arms. He was the most interesting character any of us had ever met. He told the most fantastic stories. It wasn't long before my father asked him to move in, and he did. It seemed that he never ran out of stories to tell us. Mostly he would tell them to us after supper was over and the chores were done, but after a few years that began to change. Soon he was talking non-stop ... all day... and we listened. We no longer ate all of our meals together, and when we did, we were still captured by what our guest was saying. It seemed we no longer had the time to listen to one another. Before long, our guest began to talk about things that made my mother uncomfortable, and sometimes he used bad language in our house. My father was strictly against the use of bad language, but he never said anything to our guest about it. Anyone else ... he would have knocked their teeth out and threw them out the front door for saying such things in front of my mother, but not our guest. It seemed he could say anything he liked, and we would listen. We came to realize that we were growing apart as a family. All we ever seemed to want to do was listen to our guest. And as the years passed, his language became even worse, he spoke more often to my mother about 'dirty' things, but still, my father allowed it. One day, after I came home from school, I found our guest dead in the living room. I went out to the field and told my father. He didn't seem as upset as I thought he would, but he packed up his tools and went to town. When he came back, he had a new guest. So we plugged him in, flipped through the channels, and listened to what our new TV had to say.
My new year's resolution?....get my kids to stop listening to that pesky guest in our house so much!