It was a woman telling another woman, "You know what they say, God helps those who help themselves."
I stopped in my tracks...well, I didn't really have tracks because my shoes were clean & I was on an actual floor, not dirt or mud, but the saying fits here so just go with it...& thought, "Hmm, why does that phrase jump out at me like that?"
Then I remembered why. Someone said it to me once & I thought it was the stupidest thing I'd ever heard.
Here's the story.
I don't remember the exact where or why of it, I just remember my father saying to me once not to look a gift horse in the mouth. I was 10. I asked him, "What does that even mean?"
He said, "Think about it."
I said, "I did. That's why I'm asking you, because I couldn't figure it out." Yeah, I said that & yeah, my kids are just like me.
He said, "I'm teaching you a lesson here, that the Lord helps those who help themselves." Okay, thanks. I'm 10 years old & I now have 2 stupid grown-up phrases to figure out here, father.
I know I didn't say that, because I knew better than to say that out loud, but I thought it.
So finally I said, "Grey Poupon [yeah, I called him Grey Poupon, no joke], if I could help myself, I wouldn't need the Lord's help. And if He was helping me, I wouldn't need to help myself. That doesn't even make sense."
I got the look. The look that told me to back away slowly & go find something else, anything else, to do. So I did.
But I still to this day think that phrase is stupid. Very stupid. And it bugs me with it's stupidness.
So I pondered the first grown-up phrase that he had said that I was confused about. I pondered & pondered.
I believe it was a month later when I brought it up again. Being a month later didn't phase my dad. I always took time to process what I just learned & weeks or months later I'd come up with a question or idea & my poor parents had to get used to this. I'm still this way.
So a month later I said to my dad, "I figured out about the gift horse."
He looked at me. "You did? Let's hear it."
I said, "If someone gives you a horse for a gift you shouldn't look it in the mouth because it will bite you in the face & then you will be mad at your friend for the gift but if you had not looked it in the mouth you wouldn't be bit & you would still appreciate the gift, so you should just say thank you & not ever put yourself where your gift could hurt you." I talked fast & a lot, so that's exactly how I said it.
Dad got that look. Not the one where I should go find something to do. The other one that says he has no idea how to respond to me. First off, you need to know something about my dad. #1: It's very rare for him to be truly speechless. #2: I'm the only person in the world who has successfully made him truly speechless. Sometimes he's speechless because he can't believe what just came out of my mouth.
I was pretty proud of myself. In fact, I'm still damn proud of my 10 year old self for coming up with that answer & putting him in a spot of not having an answer to my answer.
24 years later I still don't know if that's the correct answer & I don't want to know. I've chosen to believe it.
|Curious me, always the|