Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sometimes You're the Statistician

This is Dave (and Benny). To me, Dave is Mr. Wonderful. Dependable, loyal, true, loving, generous, forgiving, and ever-so-patient. He is a statistician, which means, he is a "numbers guy." By day he teaches graduate level statistics and drives students crazy. But on the weekends, he teaches the 15 year old kids in sunday school at church. Actually, he shares this job with another man who is, in fact, a magician by trade. Literally.

The two co-teachers usually alternate weeks conducting class. In case you didn't know, kids this age are particularly difficult to reign in when it is time to focus on a lesson at church. Dave's teaching partner has a few "tricks up his sleeve" and can usually catch their attention with some sort of optical illusion. Kind of a tough act to follow, I'd say. While Dave may have been tempted from time to time to woo the teenage crowd with calculus or the statistical significances of this or that, he has held his tongue... And steady but sure, he simply plugs along with the lesson of the week.

Sometimes we may see eye-catching beauty or talent of people that cross our paths in our daily life and wonder if our simple plugging along is getting the job done well enough. We may not shine or have anything to show but heartfelt effort and a steady pace. Sometimes fashion takes a back seat and reality is front and center.

Yesterday I took Dania to Nordstrom to get a pair of shoes for Senior Ball. I knew I wasn't exactly put together, but it didn't dawn on me, how much of a mess I was, until the salesman commented on my old running shirt. The knees in my jeans were also stained and dirty from cleaning and my hair was falling out of my ponytail. Initially I was embarrassed but it didn't last long. I remembered Marjorie Pay Hinkley's quote below, and I was okay. May we all show up to our most important event eye-catchingly dirty.

"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

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