“As­saulted By A Cheese Stick”

Walker County Messenger - - Sports - Bo Wag­ner Evan­ge­list and au­thor

I knew that call­ing 911 would be point­less. How would I ever ex­plain that, while mind­ing my own busi­ness cutting the front lawn, my old­est daugh­ter as­saulted me with a cheese stick? And be­sides, even if I had wanted to, I was laugh­ing too hard to speak clearly.

A bit of a back­drop may be of as­sis­tance in help­ing you to un­der­stand how the Swiss swat came to hap­pen. Maybe a year or so ago, I came home and opened the re­frig­er­a­tor in search of a quick snack. There, on the top shelf at eye level, was a bite-sized Three Mus­ke­teer. In took me ap­prox­i­mately .04 of a sec­ond to rip open the pack­ag­ing, pop the mi­nus­cule morsel into my mouth, and swal­low it.

About an hour later, my daugh­ter came look­ing for me, in a clearly ag­i­tated frame of mine. It seems I had com­mit­ted a hor­ri­ble trans­gres­sion; that lit­tle piece of chocolate was “hers,” she had claimed it and was go­ing to eat it later.Ever since then, each time some piece of chocolate is “hers,” she makes a ma­jor demon­stra­tion of that fact, for­bid­ding me from even think­ing about it.

A bit over a week ago, she brought home a full-sized Three Mus­ke­teer. It had been in the ve­hi­cle for a while, and had flat­tened out a bit due to melt­ing. Her plan was to put it in the fridge and eat it later once it reso­lid­i­fied.

When I ar­rived in the kitchen a bit later, I once again went look­ing for a snack. I opened the re­frig­er­a­tor door, and there on the top shelf was the candy bar. I, though, was look­ing for some­thing else. I opened a lower drawer and re­trieved a round cheese stick, and as soon as I did the thought hit me like an epiphany from the land of mas­ter­ful mis­chief: that cheese stick was about the same size as that slightly melted candy bar.

The surgery was time con­sum­ing, but ut­terly, bril­liantly successful. I man­aged to get the candy bar out of the wrap­per and put the cheese stick in its place. I re­sealed the wrap­per so master­fully that no CSI tech­ni­cian would ever de­tect my sub­terfuge. The only thing left was to wait...

Five days. It was five days later till my work paid its glo­ri­ous div­i­dends. I felt the cheese stick wal­lop me in the back about the same time I heard my daugh­ter shriek “Daddy!!!” My wife was on the front porch com­ing unglued, she was aware of what I had done. My youngest daugh­ter was shak­ing her head in ad­mi­ra­tion. Her ex­act words were, “That is su­per sav­age!”

Wait, please put down that pen and hold off just for a mo­ment on that an­gry let­ter telling me how hor­ri­ble of a per­son I am. I never said that I ate the candy bar. The candy bar was safe and un- in­gested in a plas­tic bag in the back of the fridge. I told her where it was, and she has since en­joyed ev­ery calo­rie-laden bite of it. Yes, there ac­tu­ally is a spir­i­tual point to all of this. Though the wrap­ping was the same as ever, the con­tents were vastly dif­fer­ent. And no one would ever know the dif­fer­ence with­out re­ally tear­ing into it and check­ing it out.

In 2 Chron­i­cles 12, due to his dis­obe­di­ence, the king of Is­rael man­aged to lose the price­less golden shields that Solomon had made. But rather than set things right and get them back, King Re­hoboam sim­ply made brass shields in their place. To the un­trained eye they would have seemed nearly iden­ti­cal to what had been lost, but any­one who re­ally dug into the mat­ter would have found that the price­less had been re­placed by the pal­try.

I see much of that in our pre­cious Amer­ica these days. I see po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness liv­ing in the wrap­per that used to be oc­cu­pied by science, per­sonal and group agen­das liv­ing in the wrap­per that used to be oc­cu­pied by jour­nal­ism, and nar­cis­sis­tic group-think liv­ing in the wrap­per that used to be oc­cu­pied by academia.

Worst of all, though, I of­ten see celebri­ties liv­ing in the wrap­per that used to be oc­cu­pied by preach­ers. The days of Jeremiah, John the Bap­tist, Je­sus, and Paul, have given way to the days of Col­gate smile, per­fectly coiffed, sil­ver tongued, al­ways sooth­ing, uni­ver­sally pop­u­lar re­place­ments. Yet it was Je­sus him­self who said, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fa­thers to the false prophets.”

Let’s be real, folks; no one is ever well served by a wrap­per de­void of the right con­tents.

Bo Wag­ner is pas­tor of the Cor­ner­stone Bap­tist Church in Moores­boro, N.C., a widely trav­eled evan­ge­list, and au­thor of sev­eral books, in­clud­ing a kid’s fic­tion book about the Bat­tle of Chicka­mauga, “Bro­ken Broth­er­hood.” He can be emailed at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

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