I was working in the yard late Friday afternoon and suddenly heard the hauntingly familiar ring of the bells that I remembered from my youth. Perhaps you also would have recognized, somewhere in your distant past, the sounds of the arrival of the Good Humor man. It’s been years since I have had a Good Humor bar – I mean decades, at least.
Yet, I immediately had the urge to put down my tools and head into the street to flag the guy down. And I did just that… I was swept back to my youth – those times that it was hot in the middle of summer and my brothers and I would beg Dad for a cold treat. We didn’t get them very often, but every once in a while we were able to enjoy a Good Humor bar. I particularly liked the almond ones – with vanilla ice cream in the center, while my father and others in the family liked the bars that had more chocolate.
The point is the memory of good and fun times – not necessarily the types of ice cream that we ordered. In the way distant past, the driver would have to get out of his truck, go around the back and open the rear hatch. Then, he would reach in, never having to look, and find exactly what you ordered. I remember the cold air flowing out of the back of the truck. When change was due, the driver would give you coins from the old fashioned coin dispenser he wore on his belt.
And if you happened to be somewhere that the Good Humor trucks couldn’t travel, you may very well have the chance to stop one of the Good Humor men who rode the bicycle carts that were so popular in the old days. All in all, there were great memories of all the things we did as children to have the chance to enjoy an ice cream treat on a hot summer day.
In fact, Good Humor men had to spend many days in training and were obligated to tip their hats to ladies and to make sure that their patrons had a fun and pleasant experience. The bars were originally more messy and the founder’s son came up with an idea to freeze the ice cream on a stick and make the treats easier to eat! It is noteworthy that the whole experience was designed to bring a smile to the face of the customer – a way for them to be in “good humor” – hence, the name…
But we all know that it is impossible to be in good cheer, or good humor, all the time. Life is full of detours and issues that we have to address. And despite our best efforts, we can’t always, in our humanness, overcome the trials and tribulations that we have to face. While focusing on Christ is the answer, it is elusive at times.
Paul, the apostle, had some interesting things to say on this topic. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul revealed how he dealt with the challenges of his life. He tells us, in 2 Cor. 12:10, “Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”
My encouragement this evening is that Christ wants us to lean on Him and let Him deal with the challenges of life. My prayer is that you will be of good cheer, of good humor, and try to make the most of every situation. And what you can’t handle – you can rest assured that the God of the universe will always have your back. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…