Tom and I were talking the other day, and this was part of it –
- “You wouldn’t believe part of the phone conversation I had with my father last night.”
- “Why? What happened?”
- “Dad called, which was unusual, since I usually call him. He wanted to know if I had one of the two University Dining Room chairs that he had bought some years ago.”
- “Why would he think you had one of his chairs?”
- “He said that he only has one of them, and is wondering if somehow the service staff at the retirement center where he lives has thrown away the other one.”
- “So, what did you tell him? Have you been hiding something from him? Seriously, what kind of answer did you give him?
- “I told him that if he doesn’t have it, and my sister doesn’t have it, and I don’t have it, then there is nothing that can be done about it anyway.”
- “That sounds pretty cold on your part. How did he take your comment?”
- “Simple. He said, ‘But, it is my chair, and I want it!’”
Several days later, I told my wife about Tom’s father and the missing chair. She made an interesting observation, which was par for the course. She said that a similar thing occurs with her mother. She can’t find something, and her immediate reaction is that ‘the cleaning person’ took it.
As we compared notes, we agreed that our parents are, as time goes by, living in a smaller and smaller world. Things that 15 years ago would have been too small to be important are now taking on key places in their universe. Although these items don’t deserve their newly attributed importance, a shrinking world has skewed the perspective of what is important and what is trivial.
I continue to ponder that issue. I trust that I can keep a view of a world that is big. If I don’t, small things will take on a character they neither really have nor deserve. When the “big picture” gets lost, so do I!! Have you ever thought that one of the consequences of God never aging is that He never loses perspective???