Ragdoll or Royalty?
It’s a great feeling to know you’re in line to inherit a crown. My great-great grandparents were Hiram and Francis KING and a few generations later we sheepishly claim our “royalty”. Incidentally, the same ancestors gave us a love of travel exemplified with their epic float down the Mississippi.
A family friend similarly adventured down the Ohio on a modified pontoon boat from Wheeling, WV to the Mississippi. He said it was funny how occasionally he and his buddy would ask each other, “What ever happened to the (such and such)?” only to realize it must have blown off into the water, lost forever. At our house we are always looking for something that hasn’t been seen in a while. It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries how my husband has somehow managed to keep track of a half inch circus monkey figurine he got 50 years ago!
Additionally, his 2008 F250 pick up has 276,000 miles on it and still runs great because he takes good care of it. Equally important to not losing things is maintaining them. House repairs, oil changes or trips to the mechanic, making time to meet a friend for lunch, reading the bible, and forcing ourselves to exercise are all examples of maintenance. Maybe we feel like life is smooth sailing right now, but if we’re not intentionally maintaining, little things one by one get blown off the boat.
The epitome of proper maintenance was the Hacker Valley Grade School where my Grandma Olga Harris taught in 1966 when it was first built. The modular structure was actually six trailers side by side and while it was not officially declared temporary, one of the builders remarked that “It should last 6-8 years.” It surprisingly served the community for the next 42 years because it was so well maintained. I recall the green tiled hallway gleaming like a ballroom dancefloor. One summer I had the opportunity to join a government sponsored work program and helped prepare the school building for the upcoming academic year. Supervisor Arvilla Moats was of slight build, so when I was assigned to the floor polisher I figured I should be able to commandeer it gracefully like she did. It was a beast of a machine with three spinning heads and a long handle which when lowered at an angle would activate rotations. It was my false confidence that nearly killed me. I climbed atop the handlebar using all my body weight to get it lowered, at which point the machine came to life and took flight down the hallway. It had a mind of its own, on a mission to destroy me or the building or both. I was a rag doll in a vortex at its mercy and whim, hitting first the right side of the hallway then zig-zagging across to bump against the left. Back and forth I went down the long corridor, stopping just short of crashing through the glass doors at the end. Thankfully nothing was damaged but my pride. Defeated, I asked Arvilla if I could please clean erasers or something. I got schooled that summer, learning what humble pie tasted like and seeing first-hand the effort it takes to maintain something worthwhile.
Likewise, maintaining control prompted my boating friend to secure a compass and a rudder to his craft. He knew staying the course and remaining steadfast requires us to have “navigational tools” …which brings me back to scripture: James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
Remember when things start spinning out of control, you are not a helpless rag doll in a vortex, but instead you are royalty, a child of The King who offers us a crown of life! I maintain that’s something we’ll want to keep track of.
Janet Cowger- Fliegel