Lemons in perspective
SHE SUCKED a lemon. Yuk! I do love lemon-flavoured drinks but I don't think I could actually suck a lemon.
For my birthday, my son bought me a book about lemons.
No, not the fruit. The book was about those cars that people unkindly describe as lemons because they consider them failures.
And there in chapter 7, is my beloved Triumph Stag. Now, I know this particular car managed to gain a reputation for unreliability soon after its release in 1970.
Yes, there were problems. However, those problems are now understood by the many enthusiasts who preserve and restore these magnificent cars.
Serious neglect by owners and ignorance of fundamental maintenance requirements were the issue.
So now, the Stag Owners Club in the UK is the biggest single-make car club in Britain with a high percentage of cars built still on the road today.
Mine has never let me down in 17 years of ownership. So, is this beautiful open-top roadster really a lemon?
It's easy to overlook good points - either of things or people.
Consider the magnificent accomplishments of those folk with disabilities who have been competing in the Paralympic Games in London.
They can't function physically in a way that is considered by others as "normal".
But then again, few, if any of us function "normally" in the way we behave or conduct our lives.
We so often ignore the specific directions of our Maker. But he doesn't label us "lemons" - and write us off.
I'm just glad God shows us our faults and failings. I'm also glad we can actually do something about the problems in our lives. Like Triumph Stag enthusiasts with their cars.
Knowing what the problems are, why they occur and being prepared to fix them and avoid them in future, keeps our beloved cars on the road.
One of the writers of the Psalms in the Old Book thanks his God because, as he put it: "I am fearfully and wonderfully made - body and soul I am marvellously made". And that's true.
God made us for a purpose and told us how to achieve our potential.
We may have ignored that and neglected his directions.
However, this can be remedied by paying attention to our relationships with each other - and with our God. Jesus showed us how.
And when we are prepared to closely follow these explicit maintenance directions, our lives are transformed into fruit that is sweet, tasty and attractive.
Not lemons at all.