Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Aug. 6, 2001

We are creatures of convenience, but let's cut it out for now


I'll be the first to admit that I like convenience.

Convenience is a symptom of our busy world. Every week, we run like gangbusters, don't we? Can any of us take on more ballast?

May I suggest that we set aside our appetite for convenience for three tiny little months. Why?

Because the businesses along Highway 12 are in a critical situation (or they will be - business owners are just starting to feel the effects right now) and they need us.

You would be amazed at how little the amount of time it takes to ruin a business that took a lifetime to build.

Imagine losing your job (or what would be a business' income) for three months, while your expenses just keep rolling in. How many bills do you have for three months?

I heard about a small town under highway construction a few years ago (I can't remember the town), and the only thing that kept a bed and breakfast alive was the patronage of the road workers using its services.

I think that past experience has taught the state to be more accommodating to small towns in this respect.

Just think! Think of the faith that all of these business owners have in Howard Lake. Every single one of them, at one time or another, plunked a chunk of money down, or financed themselves into oblivion, committing their lives to serving Howard Lake.

They say that for a ham and eggs breakfast, the hen was obligated, but the pig was "committed." I think these businesses are committed to Howard Lake's future.

When I heard that Joe Drusch was expanding his sports shop, I thought "Wow! That guy sure has a lot of faith!" Either that or he's crazy.

Now, there's an example of a guy who is willing to put his faith into Howard Lake's future.

He's putting his money where his mouth is. How about you?

Take a vow

Let me propose something to you, the reader.

Take a vow to use at least one local business every day of the week during construction. Twice is better.

If you can't be useful buying local goods and services the rest of the year, then do your part now, when you're needed.

Grit your teeth - paste a smile on your face (because God loves a cheerful giver) - and sacrifice your darn convenience and precious time for the businesses here.

Stronger than morphine, codeine

Upon reflection of my lower back surgery, I had time to think about my truly amazing recovery.

Ever since my surgery, I have felt like my normal self, since day one (with the exception of very little soreness where my nine staples were). Very little soreness. Really.

Looking back, I can say with all honesty that the turning point for me was after a special service at a church member's house.

My church family (at the Dassel Church of Christ) could plainly see my pain, even though I never called the prayer chain about it.

I remember that I had to walk up and down this sloped hill (slopes were the hardest to negotiate), trying to walk, standing in plain sight of everyone, to get to our car. I had to lay down for a while in the back seat, during the service, even though I wanted to hear the message so much.

My prescription was the same - Tylenol with codeine, and something called oxycontin, which is equivalent to morphine. I had to take these two different kinds of pills for about eight weeks - three weeks of codeine and the rest with the oxycontin, along with an assortment of other pills.

The next morning after the service, I felt absolutely different. My pain was completely gone, although it was replaced with an incessant tingling sensation (this was because two pieces of disc were pressing against my nerve in my lower back). Later, surgery would remove these pieces.

My recovery has absolutely astounded everyone I know.

What's the rest of the story? It's the power of prayer. I think it's the strongest force on earth, because it's asking for God's strength.

I found out later that my church family started praying for me that Sunday night. It was the only thing different at that time.

But, it's not like a mail-order catalog

Keep in mind that prayer isn't like room service or a mail-order catalog. In fact, God gives us what we need and not what we want, most of the time.

Do we give everything our children want? Nope. So it is with God.

So many times when I was young, I've wished for something so hard, only to find out later - with the benefit of hindsight - that it was the worst thing possible for me.

Knowing the future is a luxury, isn't it? We don't know squat about the future, do we? We sure act like we are do. But God is wise.

God knows what the future brings, what the past brought and what the present is, here and now.

Aside from this, it is my experience that spiritual growth only happens when people are in distress.

Maybe God is trying to teach you patience or give you a lesson in something the hard way.

In fact, human beings are the only creatures that are arrogant and dumb enough to look straight into the Maker's eyes and question his ability to run the universe. Wouldn't the universe be a fine mess if any of us ran it? We all have such limited knowledge!

So - I say praise the Lord for hearing my prayer. But even if he didn't grant my wish, there's always a reason that God has for his perfect purpose.

God is wonderful and awesome.

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