The Tom Sawyer Principle

U-pick strawberries are the biggest scam on the planet.  Every spring the local orchard cons me into paying them to let me become a farm hand for a day so I can harvest fruit with my family.  To add insult to injury they have the exact same strawberries that came from the exact same field sitting in their store.  Guess how much they cost?  The exact same price.

In other words the money they save on labor for the u-pick strawberries goes straight into their pockets.  I sweat in a field over produce so they can sit around and rake in the dough.

This is a brilliant business model.  I call it the Tom Sawyer principle.  Remember that story where Tom got stuck whitewashing a fence?  What did he do?  He made it look like so much fun that his friends were practically begging him to let them do all the work for him.

I’m sure this is where the farmers came up for the idea for u-pick strawberries.  But why stop with strawberries?  I’m thinking of pawning off all the work I don’t want to do by charging other people to come and do it for me.   How about u-wash my car?  Or u-clean out my garage?  U-mow my yard?

All I have to do is make it look really fun, bill it as a “family experience” and voila, I’m sure I can dupe tons of people into doing all of my chores.  And the best part?  I can make a ton of money in the process!  I’m sure Mark Twain would be proud.

Come to think of it, there’s no reason to limit this to chores.  What if we used the Tom Sawyer principle on all of the most difficult areas of life?  U-confront my difficult co-worker.  U-reconcile my marriage.  U-deal with my teen-age daughter’s loser boyfriend.

Now the trick is making any of these of look even remotely fun.  I’ll leave that up to you.  Once you crack that code, I’m sure you’ll make loads of money.  Meanwhile the rest of us will have to tackle the tough parts of our lives for ourselves.

The good news, though, is there’s a God who loves us enough to jump into it with us.  He won’t do it for us, but He will walk beside us and give us the wisdom and strength to navigate even the most unpleasant situations in our lives.

When it comes to white-washing fences and picking strawberries, maybe you can trick someone else to take it off your plate.  For all the rest of life’s tough chores, u-pick God and you’ll never have to deal with them alone.

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