Have I ever told you the story about the bartender at a local hotel …considered himself the strongest man around …offered a $1000 to anyone who proved stronger. He would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass …whoever could squeeze one more drop of juice out would win the money. Weight-lifters, truck drivers, even MSI’s had tried but couldn’t do it.
One day scrawny little man came into the bar …thick glasses, polyester suit, put the briefcase on the bar and then in a quiet voice, says “I’d like to try”. After the laughter had died down: bartender does his usual trick, .squeezed the lemon and handed its wrinkled remains to the little man. The little man clenched his fist around the lemon …six drops fell into a glass!
Crowd cheered, they were bewildered yet publican paid up and then asked little man, “What do you do? Are you a weight-lifter, professional lemon squeezer…what?” The man replied: “No! I work for the Taxation Department and so I have had a lot of practice squeezing!”
This week I have been reminded that we all want to get the most out of life, but some people seem to squeeze more out of it than others. The trouble is we can become so fixed on achieving (or not achieving) that we lose sight of what is really important. The drive for more things, the compulsion to get that promotion, the desire to impress the boss by working long hours can blind us to the fact that in the process we have sacrificed what makes life worth living.
Pause to ponder your life… in the squeeze for more have you neglected your family? Your health? Your faith? I think is was Mark Twain who said that “Man is the only animal who, when lost, goes faster!” Don’t just keep running, stop long enough to evaluate and reprioritise your life. It is not about getting one more drop out but enjoying the drink! So think about what your lifestyle is doing to your health, give some quality time to your family and seek God’s help to really get the most out of life.
Chaplain Ian S Whitley