Life Includes Improvising

When I exited the car, I took time to scratch my ankles. It felt so good. It also alerted me to the possibility that I may have been bitten by something. As it turned out, I had been bitten by several somethings.

“There was a little chigger, and he wasn’t any bigger than the point of a very small pin.”

Nancy and I had returned from a retreat in Branson, Missouri, where we enjoyed fellowship and study with a couple of other pastors and their wives. We took in dinner and a show on the Branson Belle. We saw Samson at the Sight and Sound Theatre. We ate many nice meals and even played pinball on a vintage machine in the condo where we stayed. I had the high score for the week. Nancy came in second.

We also walked each morning before breakfast. The development where we stayed included a massive hill that we made our way up and down as we followed each road that branched from it. Nancy would go to get ready for the day, while I continued to walk – through a trail in the woods. As it turned out, the spider webs I dodged were not the main enemies I faced.

The chiggers hopped on and dug in. By the time we made it back home, I had missed the opportunity to take a Clorox bath. Marie Scott had recommended doing so when our children were small, and we lived east of Atoka. When we picked berries in the ditch near her home, she advised us to be sure and take a Clorox bath to eliminate the chiggers. We had done so consistently for decades. I got careless, and then I paid the price.

They itched for the biggest part of two weeks. I suffocated some of them with Nancy’s clear fingernail polish. I scratched some of them until they were no more. I even tried a Clorox bath. No help. I was an hour late and a dollar short. I improvised to make it through the pain I could have prevented if I had not been so careless.

Life includes improvising. We make the best we can of the circumstances we create. We make it through with God’s help. Life also includes prevention. We can avoid much pain by choosing wisely and acting decisively. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I love you,

Earl