The last straw

What is the weight of the last straw? How big is the straw that breaks the camel’s back? We’re not talking about a bale of hay. It’s that little thing that others deem insignificant yet push our buttons.

It’s that final french fry that sails thru the air to hit your head that makes the van pull over to the side of the road.

One little pin can unhinge a door.

For me, it is usually the same straw that perpetually pokes my “calm to last nerve” button. That little thing that bypasses grace to make me face my own failings. I have one thing that my sons have learned to never take or borrow. My mechanical pencil. I know, it’s trivial, but that is the point.

I have a hundred pens in various stages of dysfunction. I have a forest worth of wood in pencils strewed about the house, albeit most in need of sharpening and many missing erasers. I have a rainbow of twistable crayons. But its the nice new mechanical pencil that sits next to my ledger that seems to be irresistibly tempting to borrow.

Its absence can go unnoticed for days… until I need it. Which is odd, when I think about it. The camel (me) carried the “last straw” (missing pencil) for days until I needed it. Then the last straw becomes the “last straw” that breaks the camel’s back. That last thread I’m grasping to hold my sanity together! Okay, not quite that dramatic, but the point is, it is not the weight of the straw, for me, it’s the absence of it (my favorite pencil) that makes it become a burden, a burden of annoyance that becomes anger and frustration. It shifts the balance and tips the scale.

Yet, if I learn to allow God to be my center, my balance, then the “last straw” can fall to the ground and truly become trivial.



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