Monday, April 13, 2009

The Last Task

I attend a class on Tuesday nights called Institute. It's a scripture based study program for young adults. This semester we are studying the parables of Christ from the New Testament. One of our assignments this semester was to write a parable. I've written mine and posted it below. Enjoy!

The Last Task

by Timothy Garner

After the end of a long day, an aged woman came to her final task. The new job she acquired left one room to be cleaned in this home of extravagant size. With her grayed hair matted and plastered to her head with sweat and grime, she wiped her brow and rolled her stained sleeves past her elbows. As her wise eyes surveyed the room, she thought this would be the quickest of all the rooms she’s cleaned thus far and her day would end shortly.

She filled her trusty metal bucket with warm water mixed with cleaning solution. She placed her moistened rag to the mirror and wiped the stained, spotted glass. As she scrubbed, the room began to appear brighter as the light from above reflected. A pair of lips creased into a smile and met the gaze of its owner. She spoke a sigh of completion. She next moved to the counter, the sink, under the soap dish, around the stainless steel faucet. As her rag became dirtier with every wipe she realized this dirt had been here for a while and it took a little more effort to release it from its resting place. She moved to the tub.

She drew back the curtain and realized her quick thought job would be much longer. She knelt down; scrubbed, polished and made things shine like before; clean. Her task was almost complete. She swept the floor and then removed the rug from its place. As she did, she realized that the floor use to be pristine white but now was an off color. Her shoulders dropped. She was tired. Sweat poured into her eyes but she pressed on. As she ran down the bristles of her brush upon the tiled floor, she knew it would never be as white as it originally was. She was so worried that it wouldn’t be clean. Her long job was not yet complete and how could she call her work complete. On a stroke forward, her brush slipped through the suds on the floor and her body collapsed on the wet soapy floor. She began to pick herself up when she heard footsteps in the hall. The owner of the house was returned.

Before she could think, he entered the bathroom. He bent down and grabbed her elbow and helped the woman to her sore feet. By now, she was crying. He wiped the tears from her worn eyes and asked, “Why are you crying?” She looked at him and did not know where to start. But without thought, she said, “ This floor will not be any cleaner than it is now and I’m very worried that you would not have me in your house any longer. I have done all I can.” His smile made her heart stop and then he replied, “Please, leave this floor for me. I will replace every tile. The floor will be white again and made new.” Her worn eyes sparkled as he guided her out of her last task.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Many manly lessons learned

Almost 2 weeks ago, I pulled into the institute parking lot and my car sputtered a bit. I thought it was strange, but then again, I'm not a mechanic(please remember this fact as you continue reading this post). As I departed my meetings, my car wouldn't start. Now, I've had car problems before. Luckily, my father and uncle's knowledge of vehicle maintenance far surpasses my own. But this car calamity could not have occurred at a less than opportune time! I was in the midst of planning a huge she-bang for the Young Single Adults for my church. I needed a vehicle all day Friday to run errands and it wasn't looking good. However, my father took his day off and drove from Ville Platte to help fix it. About 4 hours, a good $200, some choice words, and 4 middle aged men later, my vehicle was up and running. My uncle said that my fuel filter needs to be changed out at least every other oil change. My oil needed to be changed that day, but I waited. The problem existed because my fuel filter was clogged and it over-worked my fuel pump and it died. Needless to say, I'll replace the $10 fuel filer as apposed to the $120 fuel pump.

This past weekend, I went to my parent's house for Easter. We enjoyed ourselves. My main reason for going out there was the shoot guns. I own two rifles, a .22 and a .270. I've shot the both a few times, but not in the past 10 years or so. I really wanted to feel comfortable with them since they are mine. I'm not an NRA member, but I definitely feel it's my responsibility if I ever have to provide for my future family, how to shoot. So, we drove out to a gorgeous park by the Atchfalya River where a shooting range is. We shot my .22 and my dad's 9mm. It was enjoyable. I felt a little scared at first, but more confident as I learned how they worked. After we returned home, my dad showed me how to clean them. Not only did it make me feel better about myself, but it also was a nice bonding moment with my dad!

Now, back to my car. I changed my oil Saturday. This is the second time I've done it by myself-remember, not a mechanic!! But I did so and asked my dad to change my fuel filter and show me how. He did so. On my way back home today, I glanced down at my gas gauge and noticed it was decreasing quite rapidly. In a matter of 3 miles, I lost about a 1/4 tank of gas. I pulled into a gas station, put my car in park got out to notice that gas was spilling out of my the location where my fuel filter is. I immedeately turned off my car and said a prayer. I've learned praying is a lot more effective than cussing, try it! I put my car in neutral and rolled it forward so I didn't have to lay in gasoline. I looked under where the filter was and notice that a clip was not tight around the filter. I tried to fix it myself, but later down the road, realized it wasn't completely fixed. I called my dad to help out. He walked me through the steps. Even though I was smart the first time, frustration took over the second and I laid in a small pool of gas. After several minutes of playing with it, I heard the magical "click". It was in place. As I drove the rest of the way home, my eyes were glued to the gas gauge. I thanked my father in heaven that something more serious didn't happen and I was able to replace it.

Prayer works, my friends. And thanksgiving must follow!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Until he's fine'

"The time has come, for one and all..." I have now read two series of books. I've read more books in the last year than I've read in my whole lifetime. I just finished the Harry Potter series about an hour ago. I think it took me about 9 months, can anyone else correct me on that? I can't quite remember when I started them, but it's done.

Since the Deathly Hallows is fresh on my mind, I will discuss it. If you have yet to read them and wish to still be surprised, stop reading now! STop it! STOP!!!

Ok. The book was packed till the very end. There were some slow spots during the forest camping scenes, but all together the book moved quickly. Hermione cried a lot. Harry was completely arrogant and much too iconic-like. I loved the fact at the end where he called him Riddle. However, Riddle's death left something more. I completely see the reason why he died the way he did. I see the simplistic symbolism that he died by his own hand and by the same spell that wounded him in the beginning. Also, that Harry didn't need to kill him. But it left me wanting more.

The epilogue was enjoyable and made me smile. I loved the fact that Harry named his children after his parents and Albus Severus. And please know, I NEVER gave up on Severus. He was my sad little boy who never got picked throughout the whole series. I rooted for him.

The series is recommended! If you haven't read them back to back, I suggest it!

Well done J.K. I would love to meet you one day!