Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

"I wanted to talk with you before school starts."
"Yeah? What about?"
"Well-" Just then the bell rang and Jonathan turned toward the door.

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#61- Instant Replay

A Character story about humility.

When Jason arrived at school on Wednesday morning he immediately began to look for Jonathan. He knew that he had offended his friend some way and he wanted to get it worked out before school. Otherwise, it would be on his mind all day. But as he kept watching the cars arriving and glancing at his watch, he knew that his time was running out. Finally he spotted Jonathan getting out of a car.
"Hey, Jonathan," he called, running up to his friend. "I wanted to talk with you before school starts."
"Yeah? What about?"
"Well-" Just then the bell rang and Jonathan turned toward the door. "I-I guess there isn't time now, but, uh, could we talk at lunch?"
"I suppose," Jonathan answered coolly, and disappeared into the crowd.
Jason's enthusiasm to get their differences worked out was thoroughly dampened by Jonathan's unfriendly tone. He was glad that he had committed himself to the talk at noon. Otherwise, he might easily talk himself out if it before then.
Sure enough, all that morning Jason had trouble concentrating on his work. He kept wondering what would happen at noon. He knew that the wrong words on his part could make things even worse.
Finally after fretting through four classes, lunch time came. Jason took his dinner bucket to the dining hall and scanned the noisy crowd for Jonathan. Spotting him, Jason purchased a carton of milk, shuffled nervously over to the table, and sat down opposite him. Then he opened his box, pulled out a sandwich, offered a quick prayer, and then looked up. Jonathan was staring at his sandwich, saying nothing.
"I-I wanted to talk with you, Jonathan, because . . . because I know there's something between us and . . . and if it's something I said, I want to get it right." Jonathan continued to stare at his sandwich without answering. "Could you just tell me why you're mad at me?"
After another pause, Jonathan mumbled, "It's not your fault. I'll work it out."
"Is it about our getting a computer for Christmas?" Jason pressed. Jonathan nodded and took another bite of his lunch. "Uh . . .I'm sorry you didn't get one too."
"It's not that," Jonathan answered, looking up at Jason for the first time. "It's just . . . well . . . I guess I'll tell you. I was glad for you and all that. In fact, I really wanted to come over and do stuff on it with you. But . . . well . . . when I told you something my calculator could do, you said that wasn't anything compared to your computer. You just kept bragging about it so much that, well, I kind of got turned off about it, that's all."
As Jonathan spoke, grief filled Jason's heart. Those words which he had spoken so carelessly now hurt him as if someone had said them to him. Jason hung his head as tears welled up in his eyes. "Oh, Jonathan, will you ever forgive me for being so- so obnoxious? I was so proud of getting a computer, I didn't even think of how my words came out."
"Ah, forget it," Jonathan responded kindly. "I shouldn't have been so sensitive I guess."
"No, it's not your fault. I'm the one who hurt our friendship. And to make it worse, I misjudged why you were not being friendly and then told some of the other guys. I didn't even dream it was my fault that you were hurt."
"Really? That must be the reason why Steve wouldn't even say 'hi' to me this morning."
"Probably. But I'm going to take care of that right away. In fact, the guys are sitting together over there," Jason said, pointing to the far corner of the room. "Will you go with me?"
"Sure." A big grin spread across Jonathan's face.
"And how about coming over tomorrow after school and I'll show you some of the stuff I'm learning about the computer."
"Hey, that'd be cool, man."
That evening Mr. Jensen listened eagerly as Jason shared what happened that day. "I feel like a great weight is off my shoulders, Dad," he concluded. "The guys are all friends again and most of all, Jonathan isn't mad at me any more."
"That is a good feeling to clear your conscience, all right. I've had to do it many times."
"I almost forgot I said those words before Jonathan said something about it, but afterward, I was ashamed of how they sounded and knew immediately that they were bad."
"Well, it's interesting how that works, isn't it? You remember what you learned about computer memory over the holiday?"
"I sure do. And I've been making backups ever since so I don't lose everything if the power goes off."
"I've read that our brains have the ability to take in and process five trillion impulses each second."
"Wow! Each second?"
"That's right. Almost all of this- about 99.7% -involves storage and retrieving in the memory, and conscious thought. But unlike the computer, we can't just turn off the power and forget things that really hurt us. It's all stored in there somewhere, like data on the disk. When someone or something reminds us of these hurts, then our brain pulls out the details and we relive the hurt. This is what was happening with Jonathan. His words in turn brought to your mind the data of your own words that you had stored but now you could hear them as Jonathan heard them. And I'm glad. Many people never learn to hear their own words through the ears of others so to speak. So they go on hurting people and can't understand why. I think that, as far as Jonathan is concerned, he'll probably forget about it now that the hurt is cleared up. Hopefully, nothing will make him want to recall that data once it's forgiven."
"I sure hope you're right. Oh, and Jonathan is coming over tomorrow to learn some stuff on the computer with me."
"Great. In fact, I was so sure that you two would make up, that I stopped at the Christian Book store on the way home and got this program called Captain Bible. It's a fun game and will teach you Scripture principles as well."
"Wow! Thanks a lot, Dad. You're super!"

Did you know...

God has made our bodies to be able to take in a LOT of information through our five senses. The ears are so sensitive that they can distinguish more than 300,000 different tones while the nose can distinguish more than 10,000 different smells. The taste buds on the tongue can register 4 different tastes, and the eyes contain more than 127 million light receptors which send a stream of one billion messages per second to the brain. Our skin contains more than 500,000 sense receptors which note changes in temperature, wetness, pressure, roughness, and pain. Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made! Let's make sure the right things are coming into our brains to be stored there, things that are pleasing to our Maker.