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The Tiniest of Steps
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Post Easter 2020
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BookMark - Promised Land (Second and final book in the Chosen People series) (BOOK REVIEW)
Well......If This Doesn’t Make You Smile, Then You’re Just Grumpy! (HUMOUR)
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By Sheryl Scott

"Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living." Kate blurts out.

"He did?" I ask, semi-interested. I was used to Kate's random thoughts. She'd been blurting out things like this ever since I'd met her.

"Yeah," she answers, "And I believe, I agree with that statement."

"Uh-huh," I respond, waiting for her to go on.

"Except, it's the examining that's the sticky part." She states this as if she knows it for a fact.

"How so?" I inquire. I also know she wants me to ask and if I don't, she'll explain her thinking anyway.

"Well," she starts, "anyone can live, but to truly live…that takes effort."

"Okay…," I was intrigued.

"Say you wake up one morning and decide that you are gonna be the nicest person on earth."


"You get ready for work, head to the kitchen. Pour yourself a bowl of frosted bran something or other."

"I don't think you can buy frosted bran Kate," I say, laughing.

"You should be able to! Imagine how great that would be? Frosted bran! Someone should invent that. It would fly off the shelves!"

I laugh again. Kate has a way of jumping topics. It can get rather confusing if you're not paying close attention.

"Anyway," I remind her.

"Anyway," she continues, "So, you pour your cereal and reach for the milk, only to realize there's just enough to cover half your cereal.'

"Oh, not good," I mutter.

"I know eh? Cause now, you don't have enough milk to cover all your cereal, but you've already poured what you had so you can't put your cereal back in the box, because it's all soggy," she says, her palms face up, eye's bugging out, to prove the awfulness of the breakfast situation.

"So, what do you do?" I ask. I really want to know what she'll say.

"One of three things," she answers, holding up three fingers. "One, you eat it. Half soggy, half dry. Two, you feed it to the dog and make toast. Or three, you do what my Mom used to do to make the milk "stretch."" Kate makes quotation marks with her fingers when she says the word, stretch.

"Which was…," I ask, looking at her.

"Put some water in it," she states simply.

"Gross." I wrinkle my nose.

"It's not really. You get used to it. Makes drinking skim milk seem like cream," she shrugs. "But that's not even my point.

"Good," I say, "Cause that's just weird. What's your point?"

"Well, the whole cereal, slash, no-milk thing has disgruntled you. You've been forced to make toast, which throws off your timing, causing you to race to work…but you get there late anyway."

"Uh-oh," I sing-song.

"Now," she's sitting up straight, getting serious, "You're really grumpy."

"More than likely," I agree.

"So, when Sally Secretary…"

I shoot her a look. "Really? Sally Secretary?"

"When Sally Secretary," she continues, ignoring my comment, "tells you that the meeting you were supposed to be in, started ten minutes ago, you snap at her, reducing her to tears and get evil glances from your fellow co-workers."

Kate looks me straight in the eye. "See?" she asks.

I'm confused. "See what?"

"Here's where it gets sticky." She says, with a knowing look. "Why does a small, insignificant thing like, not enough milk for your cereal, push you over the edge? Turn you into a rampaging bull?"

"I'm not sure," I say and I mean it.

"All of a sudden, you forget about being the nicest person on earth and turn into the Wicked Witch," she continues.

I think about this. "All over a half a bowl of milk?"

"Yep. If you examine it closely," she says, "you might discover that you had expectations that weren't met."

"Right," I say. "You expected enough milk for a bowl of cereal."

"Or," she adds, "you expected your roommate to buy milk.

I look at her.

"Whatever the expectation," she hurries on, "it wasn't met and that was enough to ruin your day." She pauses here. Staring out the window. "Socrates was just trying to get us to figure out a better way to live. A better way to react. To be aware of it, I guess."

"To examine our motives?" I ask.

"To examine our everything. Why we do what we do. Why we choose not to do something. What we should do. Everything." She shakes her head.

"Well, Socrates wasn't the first to say that," I tell her.

"Oh?" she seems surprised.

"Nope, check this out." I pick up my Bible. It sits on the coffee table all the time. I read a couple of verses in Matthew 7. "I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time."

Kate's looking out the window at a robin, playing tug-of-war with a worm.

"Where's that from?" she asks.

"The Bible," I say, steeling myself for her response. Kate's not really into God or Jesus or the Bible or anything. Although, I've tried over the years to get them aquainted. I wait.

"Huh." She pauses. "Well then, I agree with the Bible too." she says. She turns and looks at the Bible I'm holding. "Can I borrow that?"

I smile. The tiniest of steps towards His grace. I'm sure only He and I see it."

"Sure." I say.

"Now," she looks at me, "Are you gonna buy milk tonight, or am I?"