They Took It Away!
by Jonathan Spurlock
(Holts Summit, MO)
My parents used to operate a true “Mom and Pop” grocery store, way back before I even started school. I still remember some of the good times—and a few bad times, unfortunately—from those days gone by.
Some of the items they had for sale were plastic models. These were mostly either Revell or Monogram items, back then, and I really don’t remember how many they sold. But there was one that I haven’t forgotten, even to this day.
Either Mom or Dad had put a, to me, weird looking Army vehicle (remember, I “spake as a child” in those days!) on display. For Sale. Right close to the cash register where nobody could miss it unless they really wanted to. Sadly, nobody wanted to see it, as nobody bought it, and I kept dreaming of the day when maybe for Christmas or my birthday or some occasion, that “weird looking Army truck” would find its way to ME!
Sure enough, one day somebody came in and took the model away. I was heartbroken, as that “truck (a half-track, for those of us with a military background)” was gone! And even worse, not too long after that, Mom and Dad closed the store. And that was that.
I remember asking either Mom or Dad why they let the “meanie” take the truck back with him, and the reply was, “Well, nobody wanted it here but someone else did, so we had to let it go” and some other attempts to comfort me—but I didn’t want to feel better! I wanted that truck!!
And it was gone. For good.
We could draw a few observations from that incident. First, there isn’t much point in keeping something that nobody else seems to want. Besides, that half-track might have been a bit much for a true pre-schooler like me to handle in those days. If ever you assembled a model from the early to mid-60’s, you know exactly what I mean.
Second, the item really wasn’t ours, it rather belonged to the wholesaler, as I found out later, and they had the option to leave or take whatever they needed if there was a greater demand for any item at any other location. That sure didn’t make me feel better then but I understand it now.
Finally, in a spiritual sense, there are some things the Lord may take away from us if He knows it isn’t good for us. Many of us, sadly, don’t like to think about giving something up, even when it is time to do so. True enough, He hears our prayers (we ARE praying, aren’t we?) but there is no mandate that He has to answer according to our will. He knows what is best and doesn’t want to hurt us, does He?
So whether an Army truck or anything else, even if it’s taken away, there’s a reason for it. Do we know that reason? Probably not, down here, but I believe one day all will be made clear to us.