Take It from a Wise Guy

Blog / Produced by The High Calling

Years ago--almost 20, I think--I wrote a book of meditations on Proverbs, a little devotional for budding adolescents somewhere around the 8th-grade level. I remember the title, catchy--Take it from a Wise Guy. The publisher created the title; that I remember, too.

So, recently, I was thinking that maybe it's time to work on another book of meditations. They're good for the soul, certainly better therapy than writing novels -- a job I'd actually prefer, but a job that inevitably drags me through the muck of the human condition.

Proverbs, I thought. Interesting. Maybe I ought to check out that old book of mine.

But I couldn’t find it. Anywhere. Not even in the cache of books I keep upstairs for my son. Not on my shelves, not on his. Nowhere. It’s amazing, but I don't have a single copy of a book I wrote myself.

Thank goodness for Amazon. I went online, found a couple of copies, and ordered the cheapest one, used. It cost me a couple of pennies maybe, and $4 for postage. The note said it was a library copy, which means it got tossed from the shelves when it didn't get read.

The book arrived yesterday, a library copy that got yanked so purposefully that it somehow found its way back, serendipitously, into the very hands of the guy who wrote it.

And from a church library. I'm not kidding, and I'm certainly not angry; good folks, after all, have to clean house, librarians included. Oddly enough, the church that tossed the book just happens to be one of my favorites, out in the middle of South Dakota, a place I've been often, in the heart of the Great Plains country I love.

Honestly, I'm not mad. I'm laughing, I swear. I'm laughing when I see the stamp of that little church out on the plains, a place where good friends of mine worship every Sabbath. I'm giggling because some fastidious librarian, doing her best, could never have imagined that a little book of meditations for kids, a book that didn't get read, if tossed dutifully, could possibly end up back in the hands of the guy who wrote it, stamped as it were with the tell-tale permanence of her library's own imprimatur.

Something here has come full circle, creating a story with a beginning and end—and now again another beginning. I like that. Makes me chuckle. Makes me smile.

I get the distinct feeling that I’m being told it’s time to start over.

I'm not the first to say it, but if the Lord almighty doesn't have a sense of humor, then, as Shakespeare says, I've never once written a word.

Take it from a wise guy.

Image by Mary Beth Griffo Rigby. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr. Post by Jim Schaap, author of Honest to God Psalms for Scribblers, Scrawlers and Sketchers.