A coworker once told me about something that happened while visiting the home of a relative who had five active boys. Gathering the clan for family prayer took a little doing. They gathered for prayer with not a little coaxing and jostling. Nearby was a Darth Vader talking head. Battery operated, motion activated.
Just as one of the boys began to pray and a spirit of reverence began to descend, Darth Vader spoke up. “I find your lack of faith disturbing,” he said.
The prayer stopped as the family burst into laughter. Great timing, Darth.
I went to a meeting last night where a man told of how his day went. Let’s call him Bob.
Mind, I raised my hand part way through the narrative and asked Bob, “So this really all happened to you today?” He assured everyone in the room that it did.
If you think you had a bad day, listen up: this might make you feel like it wasn’t so bad.
Bob was in his car and had just bought himself a diet soda in a big plastic cup. It was on a console (or something) next to the driver seat when it began to tip. Bob tried to grab it, but he accidentally squished the plastic cup, popped the lid off, and poured the entire drink on the floor, soaking his feet in the process.
Bob felt a little upset, so he slammed his fist against the steering wheel, and as he did, the window on the passenger side fell off its tracks and into the door.
It was little cold. Bob tried to crank up the heat, but the heat would not come on. He flipped the knob back and forth several times—hard enough that the knob broke off.
He drove off, enjoyed a few miles of natural air conditioning, and a short while later got a flat tire on a busy thoroughfare.
All this happened within a half hour.
If you think you had a bad day, consider Bob’s yesterday. Now does yours seem so bad? I didn’t think so.
These are my “bishop’s shoes.” They were the best dress shoes I have ever had. My wife and I bought them at Dillard’s in the Provo Towne Centre the month after I was called as bishop. That was in December 2005.
But they are “plumb wore out.” There was some good wear left on the soles, but the tops had holes in the them and the insoles were broken down to the point that the shoes were uncomfortable to wear.
I threw them away yesterday. They were too worn out to give away. They had far exceeded their life expectancy. I gave them a proper burial in our garbage can. (I also threw away a brown suit that was worn out beyond repair.)
I think I came close to walking (and sometimes running) about 500 miles in them, over the last five years. I was sad about giving them up. (I am probably the most sentimental person in our family.) I felt ungrateful to just dispose of them without a proper funeral. Consider this blog post a funeral for my shoes. In fact, here is a little eulogy for them.
After a courageous battle with a bishop, a pair of vegetable-tanned Ecco dress shoes passed away March 7, 2011. They were born, probably in Italy, sometime in 2005. After a brief visit to the Springville Transfer Station, they were buried in the Bayview Landfill, 7 miles northwest of Elberta, Utah. The unnamed shoes were fraternal twins. They served their owner faithfully and with little complaint for over five years. They will be greatly missed. There will be a permanent viewing on this blog, but no services will be held. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to the missionary fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.