She got out the bread, peanut butter, jelly and a knife and proceeded to assemble three sandwiches. As she started spreading the peanut butter on the first piece of bread, she held it up for inspection, saying "How's that look?"
I looked at her work and saw a blog of peanut butter in the middle of the bread. "Great start!" I said. "Now spread the peanut butter to the edges."
Since it was crunchy peanut butter, it was stiff. So she worked a bit longer, trying to get the peanut butter to the edges. Again she held it up for my approval. But with a half inch border of bread showing, I encouraged her to try again.
"Ruth," I said. "Try and make sure the peanut butter gets all the way to the edges, so that every bite tastes good."
She did an awesome job learning, and once she understood the reason, she finished it well.
After she and her brother and sister left for school, I thought about that peanut butter sandwich, and getting every bite to taste good, and I thought about my life. I realized there are many "edges" of my life that don't "taste" so good.
- When I'm in a rush, my patience goes right out the window and my tone of voice can be ugly.
- When I'm interuppted while trying to finish a project, the rolling of my eyes isn't very kind.
- When someone has hurt my feelings, my defensiveness isn't very gracious or forgiving.
As I cleaned up after my family that morning, and screwed the lid on the peanut butter, I made a renewed commitment to make every bit of my life taste good. Not just the times when it is easy to do so, but the times when it is hard. I want my friends and family to get the very best from me, not just some dry, tasteless crusts.
I don't think I'll ever look at another PB & J the same.