a short, short story
When I was cleaning up the attic of my soul a few days ago, I
came across quite a number of precious items, the kind of things
that one knows one will never use again but cannot bear to part
with. After years of storage, I had almost (but not quite)
forgotten they were there. A lot of it is simply rubbish, of
course: a bushel basket of broken promises, every issue of
Resolutions going back to 1962, a couple of Vanities, a Vice or
two, that kind of thing. Eventually, I felt, I would simply dump
all that stuff in the trash, when I have the time.
But there is no feeling quite like the pride of past
achievements. As I surveyed those trophies, my heart swelled.
There on the shelf under the gable stands my Sense of Self-Worth,
seven feet tall, dusty, but gleaming with gold. Right next to it
is my Appetite for Success, mouth wide open, and on the other side,
my darkly glowing Self-Righteousness, still shining dimly, giving
just enough light to deceive.
Looking down the room, I spotted my first, rusting Self-Esteem
engine. Right above it were the real treasures of the attic: row
upon row of Dead Legalisms, all stuffed and mounted very
professionally. A lot of them are still in good shape, despite the
passage of years. I picked a couple of them up for a moment, and
it seemed to me that they were a good bit heavier than I remembered
them to be. Beautiful work.
And just beyond them was my old Works Salvation. I pulled it
away from the wall and got on it, for the first time in years. The
movement was cranky and needed some oil, but after I finally got
it wound up, it ran pretty good. Of course, it did not work, but
then it had never worked; it just made impressive sounds and took
up a lot of space. But almost everyone has one, and it was somehow
gratifying to know that I could still operate mine -- such good
Stepping off it, I looked back over the room. Several times I
had resisted the impulse just to throw the whole lot out. There was
nothing there of value to anyone but me, and I would undoubtedly be
better off without all that rubbish. I firmly resolved to clean it
all out -- when I get around to it. I stepped back toward the attic
But wait! What was that I saw at the end of the room, peeking
out of a case on the floor? Was it -- yes, it was. After all
these years, imagine finding a bottle of vintage Religious
Respectability. In fact, a whole case! I decided to take a bottle
back downstairs. I remembered, it only takes a drop or two to
really rev you up. It was comforting to think that, with a whole
case, I probably have a lifetime supply.
RMA, September, 2000
Return to Bookworms.
Welcome to the Bookworms Archive.
Here are some other important links to help you get around:
CQOD for today
CQOD on the go!
Use our double opt-in listserve to receive CQOD by email
CQOD daily index
All monthly archives
What’s New on CQOD
Search CQOD (or see below)
Facebook CQOD Fan Page
Follow CQOD on Twitter
Follow CQOD on Instagram
CQOD on the Web
CQOD Liturgical Calendar
Mere Christianity: a conversation
Simple Songs for Psalms
Quotations Bible Study
Jonah: a miracle play
Ruth: a play
Also visit these organizations:
↑ Grab this Headline Animator
Compilation Copyright, 1996-2023, by Robert McAnally Adams,
Curator, Christian Quotation of the Day,
with Robert Douglas, principal contributor
Logo image Copyright 1996 by Shay Barsabe, of “Simple GIFs”, by kind permission.
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.