Insight - The Stranger in the Corner
I was sent this timely and thought provoking email that I thought you may enjoy.
A few months before I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it.
But the stranger? He was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history, or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but my parents didnít seem to mind. Sometimes one of them would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and would go elsewhere. (I wonder now if they ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)
Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honour them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home ... not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long-time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.
My parents seldom drank alcohol in the home. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger.
Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... and NEVER asked to leave.
More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you were to walk into my parentsí den today you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name? We just call him TV.
It makes you think doesnít it! My father has been saying a lot lately that I need to enjoy every moment I have with my family as they grow so quickly. Live each moment well as you will never get it back.
Life is too precious to be spending too much time with this Ďstranger in the cornerí.
Sobering, isnít it!