It's not possible to unscramble an egg or
to un-throw a stone
November 18, 2009
Frequently on Sunday mornings we tune in to Joel Osteen's messages. Usually there's something good we can take away, even though we have a little trouble with what seem to be his basic premises.
What we took away this week was a charming little story which packs a big truth. Let me see if I can retell it—not accurately, I'm sure—but without losing the truth it embraced.
There are some things you can't undo, he said, like unscrambling eggs. And either he said, or I thought—like un-saying words or un-throwing stones. The radio preacher continued, telling the story of two children, Sam and Julie, spending time at their grandparents' farm.
One day, Sam was out practicing with his slingshot when he accidentally shot Grandma's pet duck, Grace. Feeling awful, and dreading telling Grandma what had happened to her pet, he decided to dig a hole out by the windmill and bury Gracie.
Barely finished putting the shovel back in the tool shed, and still wiping the dirt off his hands, Sam looked up and saw Julie coming toward him. "I saw the whole thing," Julie informed him smugly. "I was standing by the window."
"Pleeease don't tell Gram," pleaded Sam.
She made no promises, but after dinner when Grandma asked her for help with the dishes,
Julie spoke up, with that same smug look on her face. "Oh. Sam said he would do them tonight."
Without a murmer, Sam picked up the dishtowel.
Next morning, Grandpa invited Sam to go fishing while Gram and Julie did the Saturday cleaning. Not missing an opportunity, Julie piped up. "Oh. Sam said he would take my place helping Grandma while I go fishing with you, Gramps."
And so it went. A couple of mornings later, after a night of disturbed sleep, Sam decided to 'fess up. "Whatever happens can't be any worse than having my conscience bother me night and day, and having Julie hold this over my head," he reasoned.
He braced himself for the worst and went to find his grandma. Gram lovingly stroked his disheveled hair as he spilled out the story. "I know," she said as she wiped his tears. "I saw the whole thing. I've already forgiven you. I was just waiting to see how long you'd let Julie keep on making a slave of you."
I could ruin the story by moralizing, or I could just let the story speak for itself for you to mull over.