Friday, April 18, 2008

Stop Whining


There are about a zillion reasons to be a proud Texan. I was born here, and have lived here most of my life. I am proud of our strong history. I am proud that we can fly our flag at the same level as the U.S. flag, because we were once an independent nation. I’m proud that everything seems bigger and better here in Texas. I’m proud that our people are some of the friendliest people in the world.

But today, I learned a whole new reason why I should be a proud Texan! We are . . . drum roll please . . . the home of the original elephant jokes!

That’s right, folks. The first elephant jokes were recorded right here in Texas, back in the summer of 1962. Their popularity spread, and hit California by January/February, 1963. By summer of ’63, these outlandish jokes could be found in newspaper columns across the nation, as well as in TIME and Seventeen magazines! Before long, everyone was spouting off the silly riddles, and their popularity remains to this day.

Here is one of my favorites:

Q: Why did the elephant stand on the marshmallow?

A: To keep from sinking into the hot chocolate.

(Go on. Laugh. You know you want to.)

Here’s another one:

Q: How can you tell if an elephant has been in your refrigerator?

A: By the footprints in the butter.

HILARIOUS!

Okay, one more. This is the last one, I promise.

Q: What did the grape say when the elephant stepped on him?

A: Nothing. He just let out a little wine.

Get it? A little wine? So funny!

That last joke makes me feel kind of sorry for the grape, though. Poor guy. He probably never saw it coming. I’ll bet he was just sitting there, minding his own business, when all of a sudden WHAM! He was stepped on by an elephant.

But you know, there is an important message buried in that silly joke. The pressures of this life will often seem to come out of nowhere! We can just be sitting there, minding our own business, not hurting a soul, when WHAM! Life comes at us, like that big ol’ elephant’s foot.

When that happens, we have two choices: we can let out a whine, or we can let out wine. Much of the time, when the going gets tough, our first response is to protest. We grumble that life isn’t fair. We complain that we don’t deserve the hardships that have been thrown at us. We get angry and bitter, and we whine.

But if we will stop whining, we will realize that pressure creates wine. When the problems of life come, we can learn and grow from them. Most of the time, struggles don’t destroy us. They make us stronger. If we allow it, difficulties will produce sweetness, wisdom and strength that wouldn’t have been possible without the pressure.

We each have a choice to make. When that big elephant’s foot comes at us, we can whine. Or, we can produce wine.

By the way, . . . Q: Do you know why elephants wear sunglasses?

A: With all these dumb elephant jokes going around, would you want to be recognized?

2 Corinthians 4:8 – 9 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

5 comments:

Cheryl Barker said...

Renae, I clicked over to your sites from Jean's Conversations With God. It looks like you offer lots of great insight and point your readers to God and His Word. I'm trying to do the same with my blog. May God bless your efforts!

Britta Coleman said...

My favorite is the marshmallow joke. It did make me laugh. And as a fellow Texan, I'm proud to know another facet of our wonderful state.

Elephant jokes...who knew???

I also like the wine/whine analogy. Insightful.

Journey of Truth said...

Do you know why I love Texas even though I've never been there (yet)? Texas has folks like you there that increase its VALUE.

Love this post! I liked the hot chocolate one the best.

Mwah!

Felisol said...

Dear Renae,
you are having these original, but oh, so to the point written stories.
I love 'em.
They make me think, seek and find.
Hope I am producing some wonderful wine for the summer these days...
From Felisol

Renae said...

Hello everyone! So sorry I haven't gotten back with any you! My comment notification was accidentally turned off, and I just now found these! :-)

Cheryl, isn't Jean's blog great! I go there nearly every morning. So glad to have you here!

Britta, that has been a favorite of mine for a long time. We actually tell it almost every time we drink hot chocolate at our house! :-)I actually got the idea for the wine/whine analogy from Oswald Chambers!

Sara, Come to Texas and you will help us out even more! :-)

And Felisol, trust me. You are producing much wine in your life. It is such an honor to know you!

Blessings to all of you!

--r