Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

March 6, 2012

Spilled Milk

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

“No reason to cry over spilled milk!”  I heard that a lot.  The message was that there was no need to fret over something that happened that could not be reclaimed.  Milk that is spilled across the floor cannot be retrieved.  It is a great lesson — but I have done more than cry over spilled milk — I have smelled like spilled milk!

In the early years of my life, my grandmother, with whom we lived, had a milk cow.  There was the daily milking that provided what we called “sweet milk.”  Some of it was soon “buttermilk” and it also provided fresh butter.  I can never remember the real name of “Old Betsy” but she loved the rubbing I would give her many afternoons  . . .  and she didn’t get upset when I attempted to ride her!  But there came a time when the caring for and the milking of the cow was requiring more than my grandmother could give.  I remember Old Betsy leaving in a truck with her new owner.

After that it was milk from the dairy.  But the dairy did not deliver and so we had to go get our milk when needed.  The dairy was not too far from our home — less than a mile.  During the summer it was one of my chores to go get the milk.  Most of the time I would ride my bike and hold the quart of milk in my arm pressed against my chest — or on occasions, if I had brought some old cloths that could protect the glass jar, I would put the jar of milk in the basket on my bike.

But this one day — I was sent off to fetch two quarts of milk!  My grandmother insisted that I walk . . . I insisted that I ride my bike.  She tried to explain to me that even with the basket the jars might break.  I was thinking in my mind that she doesn’t know how good I am at riding a bike!  I can put one in the basket . . . carry the other in my arm!  I didn’t say all that out loud . . . but I was thinking it!

Whether stubbornness . . . rebellion . . . disobedience . . . I was off on the bike!  Besides, who is the smartest?  A grandmother or a nine year old kid?  I was soon to find out!  I remember the lady at the dairy calling me my name and discouraging me from trying to carry both bottles of milk.  Again, in child-like wisdom I assured her I could handle it.  Then I zipped away at full speed.  Down the hill toward Memorial Drive I travelled.

As I slowed for the highway, the one bottle of milk that I held close to my chest, slipped.  Instead of falling to the pavement and breaking, it fell forward into the basket.  It hit the other bottle of milk and both explored!  Buttermilk . . . sweet milk . . .  and glass flew all directions.  But somehow, it seemed that the majority of it landed on me!  I had milk on the front of my shirt and milk covering my pants . . . and I had both, sweet and buttermilk, running down my face!  What a mess!

I couldn’t worry about the broken bottles of milk — I was consumed with being sticky . . . smelly . . . and embarrassed.  No one can see me this way, I thought.  How do you proceed after this . . . and looking like this?  Imagine hot summer time with buttermilk running down your shirt!  I cannot come up with enough words to describe how uncomfortable I was!

Don’t cry over spilled milk?  If crying would help . . . I would have bawled! I couldn’t reclaim it!  And even more . . . now I had to go home . . . face my grandmother . . . and looking and smelling like I had just popped out of the old churn!  Fortunately, my grandmother only had encouraging words (?).  “Go wash and put on clean clothes . . . then you can go again and get the milk.”  Kind words, indeed!  Now I knew who was the smartest — my grandmother!  Why didn’t I listen?

There have been so many times in my life when I ignored the advice of the wise!  And, often I paid the price for not following such counsel.  I fear that I still may follow my way too often.

As we prepare to do something, God provides people in our lives — spouse, parent, friend, and others to aid us in decisions.  God even gave us written directions in facing situations . . . and He is ready to give guidance!  We only need to listen!  There is no wiser Counselor!

” . . . a wise man listens to advice.”(Proverbs 12:15) “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and you in the end will be wise.” (Proverbs 19:20) “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)



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