When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Big Fish Stories

This child, is a joy to me (aren't they all??), but unlike some of her siblings, she is not afraid to say what she feels or what she means.  She doesn't talk a lot to strangers, you usually have to get to know her a little first, but when she wants to make a point, WATCH OUT! 
Take this week for example.  Sunday started out crazy and continued that way until we finally laid our heads down to bed.  First of all, I was up until 2:00am Saturday night running on the ambulance. I slept in slightly on Sunday morning because I was tired and I knew that the day would be hectic.  I was asked to teach the 11 year olds in church.  No one brought me the manual.  I did not know what lesson to study.  Good thing I like teaching. 
Then, we had a piano recital for the girls directly after church.  It was fabulous! (Of course!)  Then Miracle and I went to choir practice with the community choir, which I am now directing.  Miracle was going to play her flute with us while we sang "Come Thou Fount".  She has not had a chance to play while the choir sang because she forgot to bring her flute home last weekend.  She has been practicing during the week and could play it flawlessly, but wasn't sure how it would match with the choir until we put it together. 
It was the night of "Sing and Celebrate" at the Methodist Church in town.  It is a community event that we all look forward to.  The music is fun and many local people have a chance to perform and show their talents.  The community choir performed two numbers.  The first was titled, "How can I keep from singing", the second was "Come thou fount".  The first number is one of my new favorites, and the second is one of my all time unforgetables.  I love them both.  The choir did very well, even though we are very small right now.  Miracle accompanied us on her flute for the second number. 
When we finished, the announcer was praising her performance and her ability and she said, (loud enough for EVERYONE to hear), "I am good, especially since I have not practiced this until tonight, and my mom made me do it!"  Oh yeah, can we just say that was one big fish story!!  She did not say that she had the music for two weeks.  She did not say that she practiced it at home.  She just said that I made her.  Sheesh!!! 
I laughed, was embarrassed, and then I thought about it.  
I wonder how many of us say things that are not the whole truth.  Little, seemingly inconsequencial things that are just slightly wrong.  Maybe, like Miracle, those words put you in a little better light (and embarrass your mom), or maybe they even put you in a worse light. 
Have you every received a compliment for something that you did well, and you just had to deny that it might be a talent?  Have you ever said something to someone that your shouldn't have?  Have you ever opened your mouth to tell the truth, and then thought better of it?  
I am thinking that sometimes being honest means not making someone else look bad, or yourself look extra good.  I am thinking that sometimes, we just need to speak exactly what is right and not add any excuses, or any embellishments. 
I think, the older I get, the more complicated choosing the right becomes!
Those big, (or even little) fish stories are common to most of us.  And so very hard to resist!    It makes me wonder what the difference is between being good 99.9% of the time, versus 100% of the time.
Here are just a few examples of 99.9% that I found. 
  • No electricity, water, or heat 8.6 hours each year.
  • Two short or long unsafe landings at Kennedy Airport each day.
  • 2 million documents lost by IRS per year.  (Don't I wish one was mine!)
  • 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions written per year.
  • Nearly 500 incorrect surgical operations per week.
  • 22,000 checks deducted from wrong bank accounts every hour.
  • More than 15,000 newborn babies accidentally dropped by doctors or nurses each year.
  • 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.
  • 114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes will be shipped/year.
  • 18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled per hour.
  • 2.5 million books will be shipped with the wrong covers.
  • 315 entries in Webster's dictionary will be misspelled.
  • 880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect cardholder information on their magnetic strips.
  • 5.5 million cases of soft drinks produced will be flat.
  • 291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly.
  • 3,056 copies of tomorrow's Wall Street Journal will be missing one of the three sections.  
Does being 99.9% good still sound good enough to you? 
I am thinking that I need to rethink my own definitions of "good" and "honest".  Somehow, I find that .01% makes a bigger difference than I ever thought about before.   





  1. Wow! That definitely gives a person something to think about.
    My son and I were talking about this the other night. He has a friend that tells half-truths to him and it really bothers him. My son is 23 yrs old and probably one of the most honest people I know!
    Great post!

  2. Perspective...That .1% can really make a big difference. I am going to be better. Does it count if you know some one could use a compliment to lift their spirits and you don't really like their purse, but you tell them you do any way?...The whole 12 babies given to wrong parents a day is SCARY!

  3. You definitely found a way to drive your point home! What an impact that tiny percentage makes. Great post!

  4. By my rules I avoid people who lie altogether. I have to be able to trust the person or I prefer not to be around them.
    (I joined your blog from FF. mine is:)
    Nice to meet you.

  5. Sorry I got my initials wrong. I meant ANWA. :)

  6. Great post. Lots to think about!!

  7. WOW. That gets your attention! Makes me think of "kills 99.9% of germs." Ewww!!!

  8. This post has given me some things to ponder. The statistics were very interesting.
    It is thought provoking to think of the times I have said something that was slightly in the gray area. I'm pondering this one.
    Blessings to you!

  9. ... so we must strive to always be truthful 100% of the time? I guess it depends upon the situation, but the truth usually does get out eventually... Something to think about, though.

  10. Hmm. very interesting. Kind of scary too, in some categories. But that is life. a lot of uncertainty. So cute of your daughter tho. My daughter in law is getting her ambulance drivers license -- seems the only way to get a job as an EMT. Hope it goes well.

  11. Well, when you put it that way ... no, it doesn't. Perhaps I should be striving for more than just almost there. Hmmm. Good, good thoughts tonight, Patty. Thank you.