There are some scenes you never forget. For me, my mother, all 110 pounds of her, dumpster diving at a hotel on a 100 degree July day was one that left an imprint. The housekeeper mistook my brother’s blankie for a rag and threw it in the trash. This was life shattering for a four year old, so much so, it took Mom to extremes.
I think the resort manager was shocked to watch this tiny Southern lady not hesitate for a moment when he told her she was welcome to dig through the trash. Thirty minutes into sorting there it was. Some things are just that important.
Each of us has something that will take us to extremes. I’m certain some people thought the heat had gotten to her as they watched my mother rummage in the dumpster. What seemed ridiculous to bystanders was high priority to Mom.
Webster defines priority as a prime concern or important consideration. What takes precedence for one person may be low on the list for another. And during our lifetime the priority rankings shift and change. Things that happen to us or stages and seasons of life do that for us.
I read a story of a woman who sat down on a park bench by a man as he hollered to his son, “John, it’s about time to go.”
“Oh please Dad, five more minutes,” the son yelled back.
“OK son, five more minutes.”
In five minutes the man repeated himself only to hear. “Please Dad, just five more minutes.”
“OK son,” he answered.
Five minutes later, when the same thing happened again, the women, thinking the Dad had no control over his child, very curtly said, “You sure are a patient father.”
The man smiled, “Last year my older son was killed by a drunk driver not far from this park. I never really spent the time to just sit and watch him play. What I would give for five more minutes with him. Five minutes is nothing to me.”
Who are we to decide what’s of prime concern for someone else? Whether it’s a knotted up, ratty blanket or five more minutes, we all have priorities.