Friday, June 1, 2012


Every now and then I hear someone say they "long for the good old days."  I think in order to understand that statement and to make it somewhat relevant is to understand the context.

This has been an unusually hot spring.  It brought back thoughts of 1952, '53,and '54.  These were drought years.  There was high heat, and very little moisture.  We lived in an old house that had very few of the conveniences of today's homes.  We had running water, after mom threw the dishwater out the back door - it ran down hill.  We had no indoor plumbing.  To take a shower we stood under the down spout at the end of the gutter on the front of the house.  But of course in those three years of drought we got no showers.  The outhouse was about 100 yards from the house and quite steamy in the summer.  What was so good about those days?

We had no fan, and certainly no air conditioner.  Air conditioners were reserved for high class restaurants and businesses.  But I do remember that in the second year of the drought my mom and dad went to Whitaker Hardware Store in Alpena and purchased a 10" oscillating, Eskimo brand fan.  Boy were we excited.  When we got home with the fan we sat it on a large table in the living room that mom always called the library table.  Dad and I pulled up two Chrome chairs (Mom had gotten her prized and very popular Chrome  dinette set).  Dad turned the fan on and made sure it would swing back and forth.  Dad was on one side of the corner and I was on the other.  When the breeze from the fan hit dad he would exclaim, "Ahhh!"  When the fan turned my direction and I benefited from the breeze, I exclaimed, "Ahhh!"  We must have sat there for 30 minutes alternating the Ahhhs!

The best thing that happened to the Edwards family that summer, as far as I was concerned was that 10" oscillating Eskimo fan.  Now if you put that in context we had a good ole time.  Would I give up my air conditioner today for a small fan?  Not on your life.  To make those times "the good ole days" you have to put them in context.

Years ago a WWI soldier told about the most wonderful drink of water he ever had.  He said his group had marched for two days without any means of hydration.  But on the third day they came upon a dead horse, and in the carcass of that dead horse was a puddle of water from a rain the night before. That water sustained the soldiers until they found their outfit.  "That," said the old veteran, "was the best drink of water I ever had."

In Philippians 4 Paul says, 10 I am very happy in the Lord that you have shown your care for me again. You continued to care about me, but there was no way for you to show it.11 I am not telling you this because I need anything. I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens.12 I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens, when I have enough to eat and when I go hungry, when I have more than I need and when I do not have enough.

The truth is any time or experience can be good if we have the attitude of Paul.  He had learned contentment.  Don't gripe about things over which you have no control.  Rejoice in the promise that He can work all things for our good if we love him and seek to serve him.