Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23 (NIV)
Before leaving Asheville, we went to a “Tailgate Market”. As opposed to the large scale farmer’s market that sells items in bulk, this smaller setting allows vendors to sell items directly from their cars or tents set up beside their cars. We went because I coveted a beautiful piece of pottery that Vicki bought from “a pot guy” there a few weeks ago. I wanted one for myself and more for Christmas gifts. I was disappointed that the craftsman was not at market today but it was probably good that I didn’t have to shift the massive amounts of luggage and paraphernalia we managed to acquire to make room for a bunch of pots. If we did not have a twelve hour drive ahead of us, I could have easily loaded up the car with cut flowers. The beautiful blooms in all shades of colors, sunflowers, dahlias, cosmos, daisies and zinnias, filled up stall after stall. That is one thing I miss in the Florida heat, being able to grow those mountain flowers. We browsed through the vendors and bought some baked goods and homemade soap, but what I really had my eye on was some glass pumpkins. I had asked the artist how much they were when we came into the market and clearly heard him say a certain amount. When I couldn’t find the pottery man, I decided to buy a pumpkin instead. But, when I picked out mine and handed him the money, he said the price was $20 more than he originally told me. Embarrassed, I stupidly gave him what he asked. Then, kicked myself for giving in so easily especially after Vicki told me she had paid the original amount I heard just last week. I debated about going back and arguing with him, but decided to let it go. Why spoil my vacation and get myself all worked up? Still, several times today, I struggled with the thought that the man had ripped me off. We stopped and spent the afternoon in Greenville, South Carolina with one of my college professors and his wife. After catching up on our lives at lunch, they took us for a tour of the campus. So, much has changed in the environment. Yet, he remains one of the people who made a profound influence on my life. I value his opinion of me, both personally and professionally. He invested a lot of himself into my education and in making me who I am today, so it made me feel good to hear his praise of how I have spent my life. I couldn’t help but compare him to the glass artist who took advantage of me earlier in the day. Some in this life are not worth a second glance because of their meanness, but the ones who treat others kindly and lovingly far outnumber them. How much better it is to be someone who leaves a positive mark on this world instead of a negative one!