One of the family members who I only see about once a year at the Freed Hardeman Lectureship is Ancil Jenkins. Ancil and Dad were first cousins. They grew up together, went to church together as children, and attended school together from first grade all the way through their second year of college. He told me that he was always at Dad’s house when they were growing up. Even though I haven’t been blessed to be around him as much as we would like, he has always been one of my favorite relatives. He is jovial, loves life, and he has a wealth of knowledge.
He knows history and his stories are always interesting. He knows our family history as well as anyone and knows this history of churches of Christ about as well as anyone I have ever met.
Seeing him at the funeral reminded me of a story that I had heard from Dad and Dan, so I asked him to relate the story about the strings to me? When I mentioned it he broke out into that big, hearty laugh of his. He knew exactly the story I was talking about and I couldn’t wait to hear it from him.
Ancil's father and my Dad’s father were brothers. They both served as elders in the church together for many years. For a long time Ancil’s father sold candy. He would pick up the candy at the factory then deliver it to vendors. Ancil said that the candy came in small boxes and the boxes had a string wrapped around them to keep the tops on the box.
After Ancil’s Dad retired from his job they were going through his delivery truck and they found one large box of strings that was labeled, “Strings to save.” In addition they found another large box of strings that was labeled, “Strings too short to save.”:)
Now there is a frugal businessman. Know one knows for sure why he saved the strings that were too short to save, but it makes a great story. Every time I hear it or think about it I can’t help but laugh. Wouldn’t you have loved to see the look on the face of those who found a box of strings that were “too short to save?”
By now, I am sure that someone is reading this and your thinking “okay Jenkins what is the spiritual application you are going to make with this one?” Well are you ready for this, I don’t have one. I’m sure with enough thought I could come up with something. And I feel certain that many of our intelligent readers can come up with some spiritual application. So, please feel free to share with us in the comments whatever lesson you can come up with. For me, this time, I just love the story, and I am thankful for family:)
Dear Father, we are so thankful for the gift of family and the gift of laughter. Help us, dear God to enjoy our families and enjoy the life that we have because of Jesus. Help us to show those around us what it means to live the abundant life that Jesus brings. In His Wonderful Name we pray, Amen.