Borrowing jacks, etc.

February 19th, 2008

When I was a teenager, someone in church told the story of a man who, in the middle of nowhere and the night, found that his car suddenly had only three functional tires. Finding himself also without a functional jack (his must have come from a dealership), he began the long walk back to a farmhouse a couple of miles down the road. On the way he started imagining the conversation he was likely to have with the inhabitants of the farmhouse, whose sleep he would presumably be interrupting. The man assumed that the farmhouse inhabitants would be annoyed at being awakened and would then proceed to upbraid him for his unreasonable request and his idiocy in not being adequately prepared for such a misfortune. By the time he arrived at the farmhouse and knocked on the door, this imaginary conversation had him fully incensed. When the farmer answered the door, the man angrily shouted “You can keep your stupid jack!”

So today there was the possibility of a tense conversation. Both the possibility and potential tension were quite small, but that didn’t stop me from having the conversation in my head, several times over, each time using a different brilliant tactic to prove my point. I even had a few opposition-crushing and stinging retorts at the ready, just in case.

The conversation happened.

No tension. No accusations. No protesting self-defenses.

Just a conversation.

So all that time I was playing the scene out in my head, I could have been coloring. Or reading Cannery Row. Or playing the piano. Or practicing the two 8-counts that I remember from the one clogging class I took at BYU. Or making paper airplanes. Or writing about Heidi, a book that reminded me, again, that God really is paying attention, that He loves me, and that He has a plan for me.

Note to self for next time.


One Response to “Borrowing jacks, etc.”

  1. Rebecca on February 21, 2008 9:12 pm

    I recall that story! My Dad use to say “Wanna borrow a jack” to me all the time because I play stuff out in my head and get all worked up for no reason. Well, sometimes for a reason, but I would stress too much about things, and he’d say that to remind me. I loved that story!
    Rebecca

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