Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Think Like A Mouse

Getting a new avatar. This one is temporary for this blog.

...Okay, so, I was sitting at my computer one evening when I saw a little movement in the corner of my eye. I was like, oh it was nothing. It's late. My mind is playing tricks on me. Can beat me at games. Then another evening, from out of nowhere, it seemed, a tiny, furry critter ran under my desk!

I jumped up on my office chair, stating over and over in disbelief, "No way. No way."
A mouse turned the corner as if to say, "Yes way."

It's all quiet, except for the sound of my beating heart. My first thought was, "Who do I call?" Calming down, I knew even our local Critter Control would not take the job. At least, not without charging an arm and a leg, and perhaps, the right to use the story in a feature article. Okay. That would be too embarrassing. Call my brother? He lives across town. No. It's up to me to deal with this.

But it's too late to go out. I will have to wait until morning. I could barely sleep. Thoughts of mouse tracks over my face, or worst under my blanket, had me a nervous wreck.

I'm relieved to see the sunrise. It's time to go hunting. I take a jaunt to the local hardware store. Now. How do I say this with style? Dignity. I quietly spy out an employee. "Um...I got a mouse. I mean, not pet mouse. He's a stray. Um. I don't know where he came from." I'm rambling.
"Oh you need a mouse trap."
"Yes. That's it."
He leads me over to the section, and hands me a big giant rat trap. I'm thinking, I'm not trying to catch King Kong. Then he hands me the ancient traps that...crush. My eyes widened. "Do you have something humane. Where I don't have to see the critter in his last moments?"
He hands me a glue trap called "Noseeums." Mmm...no...see...um. Oh, I get it."

I get home. Now where do I put the thing? I have to think like a mouse. It was upstairs. It will probably take the same route again. I place it the corner in my reading room, and return to work. Not five minutes later, I hear the sound of the trap moving. I've got him!

I go into the room, and his little head is sticking out. Eyes wide open. Staring at me. Like, "Why are you doing this to me. All I wanted was cheese!" It's alive. I can't pick the thing up, while it's alive. I leave to come back. Thinking that it's over, I go back. The critter has eaten his way out of the box.

He's still on the loose!!!!

I panic. I can't take another night like last night. I open the second trap. Determined. Now, how can I entice it to come back, since it knows what I'm up to? I have to think like a mouse. Peanut butter. Don't have any. Soynut butter. I hope it's not picky.

Okay. I can't put the trap in the same place. No, he's on to me....I'll put it in the closet. I did. Went back to work....I hear the trap moving. I open the closet door. I can't see him, just like the package said. It's over....

What I've learned from this experience?

We have a big God who can do great things in our lives, so, the only time to think like a mouse,...is when you're trying to catch one.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Won't Be Creamed

My first job, before entering college, was at a local ice cream slash coney island. On my first day of training, I learned how to scoop ice cream. Who knew there was a science to it. Actually, it was all about the math. The boss wanted to make sure that the scoops did not exceed a certain size. This was for cost-cutting measures. I was a quick learner. The only other employee, the boss' niece, Adela, stood at a distance, watching unimpressed.

Coney Island Sign

The atmosphere was like a kindergarten classroom, bright posters of ice cream cones, sprinkles, and shakes. Just looking at them made me want to sing commercial jingles. And...mmm. The smell. Vanilla. Fudge. Coneys. What a happy place....Until they came. The crowds. Like honey bees mad for a fix, they made a bee line toward me.

Right there in the ice cream parlour, I had my first melt down. "What are they doing here?! What do they want?!!!" For some odd reason, the boss disappeared, and his niece sat in the office watching my unraveling through the glass. I concluded, it must be a test. Well, everything I learned escaped me. The ice cream scoops were oversized. The banana splits were missing key ingredients. I had to keep looking at the "How To Build A Banana Split" chart. "Oh...it's three scoops."

And, how about customer service skills? "Did you want something else with that thing you got?"

When the swarmed buzzed off, I was sticky. Drippy. Stung.

Coney Island Sign

The boss' niece emerged, eyeing me, as if she had seen this a thousand times. I was relieved. Not the first to fail. After a few weeks, I had everything down. I could whip up a coney and a cone lick-iddy-banana-split. Things were going pretty good.

Do I smell franchise owner?

I was working twice as hard, on the twice as hard that I was working, since the boss' niece wasn't working at all. On one occasion, it had been a mad house all day. Between rushes, I cleaned and scrubbed the place until everything sparkled. Toward close, a couple of my choir buddies came in. They ordered and sat inside. I'm exhausted, so I sauntered over to exchange a short conversation. I took a seat next to them. I had made contact with the chair for no less than two seconds, when the boss walks in.

By all appearance, it appeared, that I had been chillin' with my 'home-fries' all day. Needless to say, my hope of a raise melted away, and to add insult to his injury, it was Friday. Payday.

Despites some hiccups, I was a hard worker. never late, honest....One day, I spotted a quarter on the floor. I concluded, I must have dropped it during a transaction. So, I picked it up, and decided to put it back into the cash register. Like beamed in by some alien transport, the boss appears. There is not a customer in sight, and there I am, standing over the opened cash register.

"Uh sir, this isn't what it looks like."
The boss' eyes. It looks like your taking my money.
"There's really a good explanation for this."
The boss' eyes. Yes. You're taking my money.
"See. I found some money."
The boss' eyes. Yes! My money!

Well, by all accounts, I knew, I had made the wrong move. In addition to that, I felt a sudden subtraction of trust. He didn't say anything. The evidence would have to be gathered, before any charge could be leveled against me. I went about my work, emotionally deflated. Back in the kitchen, I'm pacing. "God you know the truth. I don't want to be under a cloud of suspicion from here on out."

Coney Shop

There's nothing more oxymoron than being 'shamefully-innocent.' I felt queasy inside, and I hadn't even touched the food. When the boss passed by me, the silence was thick as a milkshake.

Eventually, the truth came to light. The boss counted the end day receipts and every dime, or quarter, rather, was accounted for.

I learned a lot from that experience: God knows the heart and intentions, even when others may not. And, He will make sure, in the end, the heart after Him will be freed and cleared.

That's the scoop.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Angels Unaware

I live in a relatively quiet neighborhood. Gratefully, a low crime city. It's not unusual to see people out taking a stroll on a warm night. However, it's rare to stroll after midnight.

I turned in early, God has made it clear, no more 14 hour work days, six days a week. I agreed, whole heartedly.

Now, for most people, we fall into a deep sleep just before dawn. REM, as it's called. There I am going deep. It's about 2:30 A.M. I hear a voice outside yelling, "Hey! Hey! Two little boys! Hey! Hey!" I'm awaken, I manage to peer out the window.

There was a man standing in front of my neighbors house, besides a pile of burning debri. I looked at their house, and from my upper vantage point, I see inside their enclosed porch. It's burning inside!

My first cry was "My neighbors! Jesus my neighbors!" In a half-wake daze, I grab my phone and dial 911. Several police cars pull up first. I think, because, when I was talking to 911, I mention a man yelling outside in front of my neighbor's house.

My neighbors didn't hear a thing....

The man happened to be just passing by and saw the flames. His only way to call for help was to use his voice...that got me...to call for help. And, all the while I'm praying.

Think about that chain of events. Undoubtably God's watchful eye. Amazingly, the fire department arrived so fast, and the fire itself seemed to be contained by God's hand. It should have spread much further. I heard the man explain seeing the two little boys who started the fire. Apparently, they were known by the neighbor's kids.

My neighbors are fine. I remember, the officers talking to the man, and releasing him. I still see him walking calmly away, disappearing into the night.

Angels unaware....