Vol.VI No.V Pg.8
July 1969

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Some of the best Burnet stories go back to the days before tourists, when local citizens had to make a living off of one-another. A certain filling station operator was not happy to see a neighbor blow a tire in front of his establishment, but he just happened to be taking the right sized tube down from the shelf when the customer walked in.

How much for that tube? the man asked warily.

$2.15, he was told.

The buyer raised his hands in protest. $2.15?? Why, I can get that size tube from Sears and Roebuck for $1.98! !

With an air of resignation the operator said, Well, guess Ill have to let you have it exactly like Sears and Roebuck would. He took the fellows money, put it in the cash drawer; and then, to the mans astonishment, replaced the tube high upon the shelf.

Now just be patient, he said. Like Sears and Roebuck, youll get this tube through the mail in three or four days. Perhaps we never outgrow the childish desire to both have our cake and eat it. We want to spend this life on this life — as though there were no tomorrow — and then have a beautiful life awaiting us in heaven. Something like wanting a big bank account without ever making a deposit (Matt. 6: 19-21) It doesnt work that way. Jesus said, Whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt. 16: 25 AS)

Those who want heaven right now, in this life, must ignore the weightier respon -sibilities of preparing for the real thing in eternity, and take such scraps of happiness as this life affords. But they pay, and pay dearly, for each sensation.

And all illustrations and comparisons of material and eternal blessings have their limitations. The tube one gets from Sears (excuse me, Mr. Roebuck) will blow just like the one in the filling station. In this life one pays for convenience, service, and material — all of which are soon to pass away. But the wise man counts the cost, pays the price, (Lu. 14: 26-33) and rides the golden Street on a tube that never blows.