Fresh Lemonade

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Nearly all of us were involved in the lemonade business at some point during our childhood.  I can recall my thriving enterprise at the edge of the sidewalk.  I spent more time mixing the lemonade than actually selling it.  You see, I was not content to simply add the packet and stir.  No, no.  I was a lemonade connoisseur.  Anybody could empty a bit of powder into a jar of water, but my lemonade had to have my own trademark.  It had to be my product.  If the truth were to be known — and I’m man enough to day to admit it — that was clearly the worst drink I have ever tasted.  Yet even though the lemonade was a culinary assault, I humored myself that it was much improved due to my creativity.  And others humored me, my parents especially.  I haven’t made lemonade in years, but still I find myself giving in to the irresistible temptation to assume that if something’s going to be done right, I have to do it myself.  I must contribute something if it is going to be acceptable.  And I still humor myself and am humored by others.   Advertisers reinforce this humoring process by telling us, “you deserve a break today” and “you can have it your way.”  They prompt us to demand the very finest hair care “because I’m worth it.”  We begin thinking, from birth, that we are the center of the universe.  But we know better.  We know deep down that the lemonade is sour.  Just the same we move on, pretending that we can conquer every obstacle ourselves if given half a chance.

From Michael Horton, Putting Amazing Back into Grace, Baker Books, 1994.  p47

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