Several years ago I went to my 50th high school reunion. So many folks I had not seen in so long. It was quite a treat for my memories. Some of them I had also gone through grade school with. One fellow-student whom I remember from as far back as the fifth grade was not present for the reunion. I was not surprised. I remember that Lloyd always had a sore finger, carefully bandaged in the morning by his mother. Somebody would see him and ask: “Lloyd how is your sore finger?” Lloyd would unwrap it and show the friend, and then slowly wrap it up again, though not as neatly as his mother had wrapped it. Then someone else would ask and he would start the whole process over. Lloyd stayed in the fifth grade three years because you cannot study much if you are forever showing people your sore finger.
Well, we all have them, don’t we? Sore fingers, sore minds, sore hearts. We are encouraged to show them to everybody, because we are not supposed to hide anything. That, as any amateur psychologist knows, is unhealthy. Besides it is supposed to help you if you get things off your chest. So, do not pretend that all is well. Unwrap that finger!
Do you suppose, by any chance, that we have overdone this business of sharing all our woes, all our fears, all our hearts? There have been some I know who were heavily weighted down with infirmities, but not many people knew about it. They carried them secretly and joyously – and shared them only with the Lord. At any rate, it is a fundamental problem for each to decide how he is going to deal with his sore finger.
There is a story about a young man who was proposing to a girl. Said he: “I am not wealthy. I don’t have a yacht and a convertible like Jerome Green, but my darling, I love you.” The girl thought for a moment and then replied: “And I love you, too; but tell me a little more about Jerome.”
Here is a common failing of most of us. We know the way and we know the right person, but we cannot refrain from asking to learn a little more about something that promises an easier time and a richer reward.
One of the greatest of all virtues and one of the most difficult to practice is single-mindedness. Blessed is the person who has committed themselves to such an extent that they are no longer tempted to turn aside for some conflicting promise. I have known a few people like this and I have always felt like they were the ones who had learned the essential secret. Once having chosen the right way and the right goal, nothing ever seemed to turn them aside or slow them down. The passing years showed that they had chosen wisely and, where others had dabbled for a time in this cause or that ambition, they moved forward serenely and powerfully on a straight and narrow path.