The other day as I was reflecting on sermon topics, a story an old friend shared with me popped into my head. Mr. Miller is his name and this is the story.
Mr. Miller is now retired, but once-upon-a-time he was a high school teacher in Baltimore.
We have all known (or perhaps have been) that annoying student in class that just won’t shut up and is generally disruptive. Mr, Miller had a solution. He would call the student up to the front of the class and say, “It seems I have misplaced my left-handed sky hook. Will you please go to Mr. Yates classroom and ask if he has one that I may borrow?”
Mr. Yates happened to be on the opposite end of the building—a good 10-minute walk.
Off went the student, hall pass in hand. After tracking down Mr. Yates, he inquired if he had a left-handed sky hook that Mr. Miller could borrow.
“No, I gave mine to Mrs. Beasley over in the administration building. Go ask her if Mr. Miller may borrow hers.”
Off trudged the student, hall pass in hand.
Needless to say there was no such thing as a left-handed sky hook, and the fools errand was really just frustrating and distracting busywork to otherwise occupy the problem at hand. The teachers had a chuckle as they were in on the joke, and the student was not irrevocably scarred from the experience (unless, of course, he obsessively continued his quest for the elusive left-handed sky hook.)
Did you ever look for a left-handed sky hook?
I think some churches and religions send us searching for one. I know mine did, and while I was promised a left-handed sky hook, I was also told I probably didn’t deserve one or was simply unworthy of such a magical tool. Even better, I paid to support an organization that made me feel bad while participating in a fruitless search for a left-handed skyhook.
Now that’s just crazy, and besides, I’m right handed!
I promise never to send you on a search for something you can’t find, nor will I ever tell you that you are unworthy or undeserving of whatever it is that you desire. I will share what I know to send you on a path to creative self-discovery and skip the search for the left-handed sky hook.
Now I have shelves full of books that are all part of my search for the “left handed skyhook” and I love them all. They are my friends, and remind me of my often frustrating but absolutely amazing journey to revelation. In the end I guess the Sisyphean task of constantly seeking what I already had was worth it.
Now if I could just find a right-handed smoke shifter.