And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
I churned and churned and then I churned some more. It was 1976 and it was a big year for sure. America celebrated her 200th birthday and on June the 26th, my wife Judy and I were married. I was in the Air Force stationed at Moody Air Force Base and she was a cute Georgia peach. We sealed the deal on a hot, and I do mean hot, Georgia afternoon. After our honeymoon in Florida, we settled into our apartment in Valdosta, Georgia. We lived in a nice complex that came complete with a swimming pool. We were living high on the hog…especially when you considered I was a sergeant in the military. Even with that, as would become a trademark of our lives, God was good to us.
Shortly after we were married, on another of those hot Georgia afternoons, we decided to invite Roy Smith Allen, Judy’s Daddy over for supper. I can’t remember what Judy cooked but I am sure it was good. What I do remember is what we had for dessert—homemade ice cream. After dinner was done, Roy Smith Allen and I retired to the patio so I could churn the ice cream. I was a bit nervous because quite frankly, Roy Smith Allen could be a bit intimidating. He was a real good guy and he definitely had taken a shine to me—but still—he was Roy Smith Allen.
Well, Judy mixed up the ice cream recipe and before long I was seated beside the churn, churning away. This wasn’t one of those electric mixers, no, this was the real deal, one of those “you gotta work for your ice cream”, mixers. So Roy Smith Allen and I sat there and made casual conversation while I churned. This went on for quite a while and I realized that the ice cream was taking a long time to freeze. I was churning but it wasn’t making. After about thirty minutes or so, the inevitable happened. Roy Smith Allen said, “Son, what’s wrong with that ice cream?” Well truth be known I didn’t have a clue. We added some more ice and added some more rock salt but no matter what we did…it just wasn’t freezing.
Just about then, Roy Smith Allen, asked a question. “Boy,” he said, “you did put the dasher in…didn’t you?” Dasher…I knew that was town near Valdosta, I knew that someone who was in a hurry was called that, and I even knew it was supposed to go in the ice cream churn to stir up the ice cream. What I didn’t know was if I had put it in. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I hadn’t. Bummer. This was something that Roy Smith Allen wouldn’t forget and wouldn’t keep to himself.
Well, I stopped churning and removed the crank thing from the churn and then removed the top from the thing that held the mix. There was no dasher. Shoot. Well, I don’t remember what Roy Smith Allen said but I am sure it involved a couple of “Son’s” and a couple of “Boy’s.” Well by now I was thoroughly embarrassed as I put the dasher in and thankfully within just a few minutes we had ice cream. Turned out the mix was so cold; it was more than ready to cooperate and freeze. So, it all turned out delicious in the end and trust me, I never forgot again to put the dasher in and I’m sure Roy Smith Allen didn’t forget about the time I did.
When it comes to making ice cream several things are really important. The ice, the salt, and the dasher. Leave those out and you will be drinking sweet milk instead of eating ice cream. And guess what? There are more than a few things that are really important in life. You probably have your own list, but mine would definitely include God, love, and people. God is like the dasher…He makes life happen. Love is like the ice and salt. It makes the conditions right for making life sweet and creamy. Oh, and people, well, like ice cream, life is better if we have someone to share it with.
So, as we journey down this road called life, make your list, check it twice, and make sure it is a list with things worth having. And might I add, God, love, and people is a great place to start to your list. When Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, he shared one of his lists and it included three things…faith, hope and love. And the greatest was love. Love might well be the dasher of life because the Bible also says, “God is love.” And somewhere I bet it says, “I’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne