I have learned in my life that the small things are the ones that get you down.
You would think the big things are the ones to steal most of your time. But those big things call attention to themselves from the very beginning. You know they’re there, you know you have to do something about it, and so you do.
The little things in life, usually unnoticed and ignored, cause most of the problems.
Everybody has their definition of what a “small problem” really is.
A small problem for me is finding the pen I need for a particular project. I have a different pen for each project, and I don’t like to mix them up. Someone in the family thinks it’s crazy for me to have that kind of a problem. But everybody is crazy in some way.
Another small problem for me would be finding the right book to do some research for the day. Believe me, that small problem can become a huge problem towards the end of the day.
But then there is the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
She never met a problem she can’t fix and fix right away. No problem, in her mind, goes without being fixed right now.
Sometime this year, we will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. For 50 years, I have lived with her, and I have learned some things about her.
For example, when something isn’t working right, she stops whatever she is doing and fixes it, and if it can’t be fixed, then it really isn’t broken.
This is quite different from me. There is nothing I can fix. If it isn’t broken, I can’t even fix it. That’s why we make an excellent team.
There is nothing I can’t break and there is nothing she can’t fix. What a team we make.
There is nothing too big that she cannot fix and fix right away. I’ve always appreciated that, and I can’t imagine how much money we have saved by not hiring fix-it people to come and fix something.
The truth be known, I never noticed anything is broken until after my wife fixes it. What would our home be if she wasn’t around?
But then recently I discovered something new about her.
My wife and her daughter and granddaughter spent three days doing some thrift store shopping in St. Augustine. That meant I was in charge of the house for three days. I still don’t understand why she left me in charge for that long of a period, but I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
Anyway, I was in charge, and I tried to be as careful as possible, so I wouldn’t get into any trouble. However, someone in the house dropped some cat food by the door as they fed the cats. I’m not at liberty to reveal that person’s name.
I never encountered any problem those three days and enjoyed myself; at least, I thought I was enjoying myself.
My wife came home on a Thursday, and that night we went to bed, and early the following morning, as I was shaving, I heard a loud voice coming from the kitchen area.
“What are you doing in here?”
I almost cut myself shaving, thinking we had an intruder, and I better get out there to see what’s happening.
When I got to the kitchen my wife was at the door, looking down with some can of spray in her hand, yelling, “Get out of here and never come back.”
I did not know what she was talking about or who she was talking to. As I got closer, I looked down at the floor, and much to my surprise, there was a whole colony of ants that had invaded her kitchen. I have never seen so many ants in all my life.
I was afraid to ask what I could do because she probably would’ve told me.
I try supporting her for the next hour as she was getting those ants out of her kitchen. Most of them did not survive. When she was done, I thought that would be over, and we could get on with our life. After all, an ant is a tiny thing and, to my mind, easily disposed.
By afternoon, I had forgotten all about that morning incident.
We went to bed that night, as usual, thinking everything was okay.
The following morning as I was in the bathroom shaving, I again heard her screaming, “You’re not back again, are you?”
I had forgotten about yesterday, so I ran out to the kitchen to see what was going on in the world.
There at the door, my wife was looking down and yelling and spraying something, and I noticed it was the ants again.
“I told you not to come back again!”
They were back again, and for the next few days, they returned every morning. Eventually, my wife had her way, and the ants disappeared. I have no idea where they went, but I’m hoping they don’t come back again, or they will be in real trouble.
During the day, I happened to think of the Bible verse that said, “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer” (Proverbs 30:25).
Ants are so little, and yet they can create such a big problem if not taken care of. Where are the uncles?