Saplings and Stethoscopes

Saplings and Stethoscopes 

It’s a natural human inclination to take the small parts of our lives for granted. It’s something I’ve been working on because one key to peace is experiencing those small moments. For example, when our oldest child was about four years old, my husband was just starting his own veterinary clinic. Because he worked 80-90 hours a week, he got home after the kids were in bed and left before they got up. To make up for some of this, he sometimes took one of them on a large animal call if he knew the farmer and the situation would be safer than usual (large animal work is never safe). 

On this day, he took the oldest, nicknamed Seabie, on a call. Catching the cow distracted the adults for a while. When they remembered Seabie, he had rummaged through the black bag that carried all my husband’s medicine and small instruments. Seabie found the stethoscope and had the ear pieces inserted in his ears and the other end pressed against the trunk of a sapling. 

The farmer asked him what he was doing.

Seabie replied, “Listening.”

“What do you hear?”

Seabie replied in a serious deadpan imitation of his father, “Well, the trunk is OK, but the leaves are a little bit shaky.”

Those were hard years and many times, the lighter side blessings were ignored. Small stories like this add warmth and texture to our days and illustrate how the small things make them fun and worth living. If I had paid more attention to these kinds of moments and less to the hard parts, those days would have been much better. Too many times, I ignored things like this and forgot to give thanks. 

I would like to challenge you to do life differently for the rest of this Thanksgiving season; don’t miss the small things during your days. In a small notebook you keep with you, or on your phone, record some keywords to help you remember the incidents as they happen. Any blessing from something a child said or did, a dream, an almost accident that didn’t happen at the last second, beautiful leaves that inspire awe, etc. should be recorded. 

At night, write the full incident in your journal or a thanksgiving file on your computer. In years to come, they will be a true treasure house of all the blessings the Lord has sent your way and a reminder of how good God is to you in all the seasons of your life. 

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