Mysteries and Money Trees

We all love a good mystery.  And, by that I mean we love it when it’s just a story and we’re not embroiled in it.  Mysteries are no fun when we’re smack dab in the middle of them.  None of us likes to be in a huge parking lot at a strange mall and have to solve the mystery of where we left our car.  We don’t think it so intriguing when we can’t figure out which house it is that we’re supposed to make a delivery to in the dark, nor do we enjoy the puzzlement of where we last saw our coat when we need to be leaving the house NOW and it’s 15 degrees outside.  Mysteries mean big audiences and bigger profits when it comes to novels and television shows, but not so much when it comes to real life.

From personal experience, I have concluded again and again that mysteries are nothing short of frustrating.  I want to know the answer, not to be in the dark trying to get the light to come on.  I want my car to start when I turn the key, not to have to try tapping on this wire or wiggling that lever hoping that it will work.  Believe me, I’ve had my share of enigmatic rattletraps which gave me the anticipation of lying under the car to start it or walking to my destination, and I much prefer the dependable, steadfast vehicle. 

More than once, I’ve actually had the experience of not being able to locate a house when delivering a piano and each time, the experience was humbling and discouraging.  Even after the proper delivery address was located and the task was completed, the feeling lingered on for some hours.  While it’s possible that others are put together differently and may actually enjoy a mystery, I have a sneaking suspicion that most of us like to see what’s happening.  We like to know what’s going on and not be surprised.  We don’t cherish walking in the dark, not knowing what’s coming beyond the next step.

While I’m thinking about it, I do have a couple of other mysteries that are a little less weighty that I’d like to see solved.  For instance, I’d like to know where pocket lint comes from.  I have never put that stuff IN my pocket, but I’m all the time taking it OUT!  Is it organic or synthetic?  Can something be made from it?  Or is it just a ploy by the pocket monster to keep me on edge constantly, wondering if someday I’m going to reach in my pocket, only to find no money, but a whole pocket full of lint?

I also want to know where the money tree is.  Oh, don’t tell me there’s no such thing.  My Father-in-Law told me about it many years ago and I’ve watched ever since.  Kids come in the music store and look at a book or some clarinet reeds, inquiring about the price.  When they’ve received the answer, they reply, “I’ll be right back.”  They walk out of the store and in mere moments, return with cash in their hands.  Even though I’ve never been able to locate it, I’m convinced that somewhere in the vicinity of my store, there is a money tree that yields a steady crop of one, fives, tens, and twenties, all the year round.

Aside from the tongue-in-cheek mysteries I speak of, and even more important than the trivial issues described above, I do find myself constantly frustrated and worrying about what is coming, both in the near future and in the years to come.  I make plans and they are thwarted repeatedly.  I promise results and circumstances change to make those results improbable, even frequently impossible.  I have a business plan, but no way to be assured that the economy will cooperate, or that I have made allowances for every contingency.  I want a crystal ball with which to see the future.  I even find myself wondering if those who follow astrology and seek advice from palm readers and fortune tellers might be onto something.  But just as often, I find myself realizing that even though I haven’t the abilities to solve the deep mysteries of the future, I know Someone who does.  I walk in the dark, but He does not.  What a relief that I’m not on my own, hoping against hope that things work out the way I want them to.  I have confidence that they will be worked out exactly as they should be.

But, just between you and me, I’m going to keep on looking for that money-tree.  It’s around here somewhere.  I know it is!

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;

(Civilla Martin~1905)

When does it stop being mostly-cloudy and start being partly-sunny?

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