I picked up the phone and answered in my normal way, “Good morning, this is Sharon,” all the while expecting it to be Andy since I had seen the number on my caller-ID screen. He responded, “Sharon! This is Andy . . . do you want to hear a sad story?” Now I don’t know if you noticed how Andy loves to tell stories, but non-fail they are always very interesting and usually make you laugh. So, even though he labeled it as a “sad” story, I told him I was game to listen.

“We order all the food for Northwoods through a company that delivers once a week . . . usually early in the morning. Well, on this particular day the delivery guy was running behind schedule and didn’t make it out until mid-afternoon.” Andy was working on some other projects at the time and didn’t realize he had come until several hours later. He went into the kitchen, put all the food away, and then left for the evening.

Next morning he arrived to find a shocking sight. All the trash cans in the kitchen were flipped on their sides and trash was strewn everywhere . . . not only in the kitchen, but even down into the lobby and hallways! The kitchen pantry had cans knocked off the shelves, marshmallow bags were ripped open – our little friends only liked the jumbo marshmallows and left the mini ones alone . . . greedy little things, the big box of apples not only had a huge hole chewed through the cardboard, but half the apples were devoured. And you know those little coffee creamers that come in fun flavors? Well, our little night intruders liked the vanilla ones best and sucked each little container of the whole box – something like 250!!!

coonThe empty containers were left laying in every crack and corner of the kitchen and hallways . . . each leaving a little sticky mess where the last couple drops had dripped out. They weren’t very good at covering their tracks and from the result of their apple eating escapade, juice on their paws left telltale evidence. Yes, yes, a family of raccoons – complete with gramps, granny, and the cousins – enjoyed a scrumptious meal at our expense.

Andy told me the story in such a way that he had me laughing the whole time, and yet really there is something we can learn from it.  The reason it happened? It was actually a lack of responsibility, and thoroughness!  Our little delivery friend had forgotten to close the door by the loading dock behind him when he left.   One tiny little thing and yet it had caused such a huge disaster.  It’s funny how that works.  We overlook a little thing, or think “well, it’s really no big deal! I can do it later.” And sometimes the consequences go beyond what we could have imagined!

Now, maybe a family of raccoons won’t raid your house as a result of irresponsibility, but you can never tell what damage it will do.  So let’s take this funny story to heart in more ways than one, and ask God to make us mindful of areas where we can improve in the characteristics of responsibility and thoroughness!

~ Sharon Kelly