One Hundred Years  

Posted by Brock Booher

My daughter had an interesting homework assignment last night. She had to write a paragraph about what the world would be like one hundred years from now. A lot can change in a one hundred years.

The last one hundred years certainly brought a lot of changes. The automobile replaced the horse and buggy. The cellular phone replaced the telegraph. The high definition television replaced the radio. Email replaced the letter. Air travel replaced the train and the cruise ship.

Several deadly diseases no longer pose a threat. Vision can be corrected with a surgical procedure. The mysteries of the genetic code are being solved. The average life expectancy has increased by over twenty years.

Yes, a lot could change in one hundred years, yet a lot will remain the same.

I predict that in one hundred years, peace on earth will still be just as allusive as it is today. Because the lust for power, white-hot anger, and man’s inability to forgive a neighbor will still be with us. War will still be with us.

A hundred years from now diet, exercise, and taking care of yourself will still be the best way to live a long and healthy life. Because the temptation to overeat, drink alcohol, or ingest various other harmful substances will still be with us. Health problems brought on by personal choices will still be with us.

A hundred years from now crime will still plague society. Because lying, thievery, and murder will still spring from the hearts of humankind. Criminals and police will still be with us.

A hundred years from now the family will still be the most important part of society. Because the basic desire to love and be loved is an innate part of what it means to be human, men and women will find a way to build a loving relationship and produce offspring.

A hundred years from now truth will still be true. Truth will not change with changing times. The advice to forgive others their trespasses, love thy neighbor as thyself, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you, will all be true in one hundred years, one thousand years, one million years, and for eternities.

A lot can change in one hundred years, but the basics of human nature and the truths that govern our interactions with one another haven’t changed in eons.

Of Mice and Moms  

Posted by Brock Booher

This week I reread the classic John Steinbeck story, Of Mice and Men. After reading it, I realized that a story I recently wrote had a lot of similarities, but then again we all experience similar things in life as time goes by. We all age. We all deal with sickness and imperfection. We all deal with the questions of life and death.

I had to deal with the question of life and death this week as well.

No, it wasn’t while I was flying. No, I didn’t stop an attacker at gunpoint. No, my dog did not need to be put down. I had to kill a mouse.

It seems that some mice thought our house was nice, and decided to take up residence in the wall behind the refrigerator and help themselves to food scraps in the nearby pantry. My seventeen-year old son, Cody, met them face to face last night around midnight when teenage hunger pains led him to the pantry as the mice were feasting on our food. To his credit he didn’t scream like a girl and wake us up.

So this morning I begin the process of cleaning out the pantry and looking for mice. At first all I found were mouse droppings, but as I pulled the last large can away from the wall a tiny mouse began running back and forth in the back of the pantry! I was startled at first (I didn’t scream like a girl either), and then I called on my two trusty Shitzu attack dogs to come and rid our domain of this disease-ridden rodent.

Kai and Kneesa came running, but instead of attacking, they watched the mouse with great interest as he ran behind the fridge. They seemed to be saying, “Wow! Would you look at that mouse! Man he sure is a fast little guy. I wonder if he would like to play with us? Hey little buddy, where are you going? Come back and play!”

Don’t ever buy Shitzu attack dogs.

After cleaning and disinfecting the pantry, I purchased some glue traps and put them in just the right spots to catch the invading vermin. Later this evening as I came in from Carson’s baseball game, Kati informed me that one of the traps had already nabbed a little furry felon.

Now the drama of life and death began.

My wife Britt hates the thought of killing anything, even little furry rodents. After she made me promise that I would not let the mouse suffer, she went upstairs in tears.

I carried the trap with the offending creature outside not letting my daughter follow me. I guess my wife’s tears gave me a twinge of guilt and I didn’t want anyone relishing in the death of one of God’s creatures. As I prepared to end his pitiful little life quickly, I could see the fear in his eyes and see the panic in his demeanor. As his little brown eyes looked up at me I remembered the Steinbeck story and the necessity of death and its inevitable outcome. We carry the powers of life and death within us everyday, but seldom do we exercise those powers. We certainly should never exercise them indiscriminately or without compassion. Life is a gift. Death is sometimes merciful.

I kept my promise. The mouse did not suffer... but he also did not live.

A Gemstone Called Friendship  

Posted by Brock Booher

Amy Grant sings a Christmas song that puts “Every man would have friend”, on her grown up Christmas list. I must admit that a multitude of the world’s problems would be solved if that Christmas wish were granted. Friendship is a gem that is hard to find, difficult to mine, and must be painstakingly cut and polished over time to reveal the beauty within.

I am blessed with many friends. They make my life richer, my sorrows lighter, and my joys more pronounced. The lighthearted laughter, the kind words of encouragement, the unfettered sympathy offered by friends gives life a smooth and easy texture.

My “gypsy” lifestyle makes it difficult sometimes for me to keep up with friends and the important happenings in their lives. I find myself skimming across the surface of relationships because I am often in some distant hotel room when I have a friend in need. Like a skipping stone I cover a great deal of distance, but only lightly touch the surface. But unlike a skipping stone, a successful friendship is not measured by the number of times it can skip across the surface, but by the depth of the impact. A good friend is more like a big rock that drops deep into the pool of our life and sends happy ripples cascading across our soul.

I watched my Mom and Dad develop deep friendships over the years. It happened slowly. The friendship gemstone was cut and polished slowly by the joys and tragedies of their lives. They took time to carefully strike the stone at just the right time and at just the right angle. They lovingly polished rough spots to make them sparkle and shine. What started as a rough stone of acquaintance became a shimmering treasure of friendship that continues to brighten many lives.

Find a friend. Be a friend. Let us work together as friends to cut and polish the common treasure so that we can reveal the beauty of a deep and lasting friendship.