Passing by Braum’s on Summit Street, I thought about a fresh scoop of strawberry ice cream. I thought about that luscious smoothness and the crisp crunch of frozen berries. I thought about that creamy goodness, the taste and feel of frozen sweetness. I remembered turning the crank on our old White Mountain ice cream freezer and ripe strawberries on mounded rows in the garden. I thought about all that and just kept on driving, right past the Braum’s store on Summit Street.
Part of the reason was that it was nearly suppertime and another part was that I knew I didn’t particularly need another few hundred calories. But the biggest part of logic’s little outcome had little to do with self-control or dietary concerns: the temperature was in the upper teens.
Even something as good as ice cream seems the wrong choice at certain times. On a hot summer evening, cruising Summit and looking for friends? Well, then, by all means, ice cream! At seven a.m. with the wind chill nickering at the zero mark? Nah, thanks, I’ll pass.
Similarly, there’s a time when saying a certain thing can be soothing and healing. Said at another time, the same words can be hurtful, even inflammatory. I believe the proverb goes something like, “The right thing said at the right time is an apple of gold in a setting of silver.” Even when surrounded by beauty and value, good words have a special shine and special meaning.
There are times when we need to be especially thoughtful, wise and sensitive about the words we choose and how we use them. Knowing that we can find ourselves quite suddenly is such situations, it is a good practice to pray for wisdom on a daily basis.
And sometimes, even more often than that.