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Ripped Boxer Shorts and All Ripped Boxer Shorts and All
    by Cary Branscum

“It’s not the boulder that breaks your step, but the pebble in your shoe.”

    I have tried to address some big issues in this column and in my ministry with singles because there are so many big issues out there to be addressed. At the same time, our lives are not constantly a string of big issues. Life is filled with paradoxes. One of the most amazing is this: It’s not always the big things that cause our lives to derail. It’s very often the unexpected little things that happen daily, but that add up to what we call a “tough day” or “impossible situation” or “excruciating pain.”

    People occasionally ask, “Cary, how do you deal with the dialy ins and outs of life. Do you live a charmed life? Does God so care for you that each day is like a ride on a cloud?”

    Let me set the record straight. God loves every soul completely. That includes me and you. Some days are like a ride ON a cloud. Other days are like falling THROUGH the clouds. Reality means that you can’t always predict what each day will bring.

    Let me tell you about one day that stands out in my mind from a few weeks ago, and how I dealt with it. It was a tough day.

Some days are like that.
    I went outside to come to work, and my truck wouldn’t start. I got out, and snagged my pants on the little latch post on the truck door. Not a big tear, just enough to be annoying. I jiggled the battery wires and it started. I stopped off to get coffee, and spilled some on both my shirt AND my pants. Again I had to jiggle the battery wires. Looking in the rearview mirror, I noticed my shaving razor had missed about a square inch of beard under my neck, so I made a mental note to keep my head somewhat lowered as I talked to people that day. I had to make an emergency hospital visit, and as I tucked my cellphone under my ear as I shifted gears, it fell to the floor of my truck, and the battery popped off. As I reached down to fish my phone out of the floor, I scraped the curb and rubbed half the rubber off my tires. My AC in my truck wasn’t working, so by the time I parked and got to the hospital, I had a sweat ring on my back the size of Lake Travis. After finding the room, hot and tired, the nurse told me the person had been dismissed ten minutes ago. My truck started, but began rattling like a machine gun, so I had to scoot underneath the vehicle and shake the clutch linkage. As I approached the parking garage booth to pay the cashier, the earpiece fell off my sunglasses and they were dangling on my left ear as I pulled up to the cashier and realize I had lost my ticket. The attendant said “go on through” as he stared at the patch I missed shaving. Upon returning to the church building, I got some sobering news about a church problem that made me just sit in my chair and stare at the ceiling for a few minutes. An hour later, I sauntered out to my pickup, put one foot in and lost my balance. I have no idea how this happened, I ripped my boxer shorts. My pants were fine, but the shorts ripped. That was one day, and I’m not making any of it up. Some days are like that. So how do I deal with it?

  1. Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his Purpose.” Not everything that happens is good, but that all of it will work together for good. (Althought I’m still trying to figure out that boxer shorts thing and how that will work for good! 8^)

  2. I am still alive to see my kids grow up. My dad died at a young age, and never got to see us grow up. I have. This statement always puts my tough times in perspective. It’s a benchmark statement, and I encourage you to find a benchmark statement to deal with days like this.

  3. We are living in the “tween time” We are living in the time between Jesus’ visits to the Earth. He came here 2000 years ago, and He’ll be back. There won’t be no dead batteries in Heaven.

  4. I truly search for something to be thankful for. It really does help. You can do that, too. My two younger children still get excited when I come home at the end of the day. That evening as I walked in the door, my daughter jumped up and yelled, “hey everybody, Dad’s home!” Then she ran and gave me a big hug. Well, that’s about as good a thing as you can get this side of Heaven, so the day ended up okay for me.

    We’re all in the same boat when it comes to dealing with daily troubles. Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug. Just hold on to Romans 8:28, no matter how tough our days get.

God is greater still
He loves us still
He is with us still,
We cast our cares on Him and give Him our requests, because He cares for you and me, ripped boxers and all.

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About the Author...
Cary Branscum, <cary@westover.org>, is the Singles minister at the Westover Hills Church of Christ in Austin, Texas. For more info, click here.

Title: "Ripped Boxer Shorts and All"
Author: Cary Branscum
Publication Date: August 23, 2000



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