Friday, October 4, 2013

The parable of the good eraser

This year when it was time to buy school supplies I drank the koolaid of the Ticonderoga pencils.  "Worlds best pencil" the box declared.

"Worlds best pencil"? I thought.  How could it be so different.  Yet the lure of a pencil that works better caught my attention and I paid the extra dollar for the pack of 24.

My focus was on how these Ticonderoga pencils would be better for writing. 

We had been having problems with some of our old pencils.  The lead was broken inside so we kept having to sharpen them again and again.  Maybe these fancy new pencils would be less inclined to break inside.

What surprised and amazed me was how good the eraser is on these pencils.  Any time there is a mistake we can just flip it over and clean it up.  We didn't need to fear making mistakes as in the past. Mistakes meant using the terrible eraser that just made a pink smudge.  Mistakes meant stopping to go search for that pink eraser M got for Christmas. 

Yesterday G was doing his math homework; subtraction with borrowing.  He made a mistake on the first problem.  I noticed the mistake but wouldn't let him erase it.  He had one of the terrible pencils.  So we stopped doing the work all together, until we got one of the good pencils.

They're amazing!

They're so good they got me thinking about how often we think that our ability to DO is the most important thing.  But our ability to notice our mistakes and fix them, is more important.  Could we just be perfect and never need an eraser?  Maybe.  But when you're learning, you will make mistakes.

Last night I finally came to the realization of how the Savior is like an eraser.  Imagine that this life is a test.... that's a familiar phrase.  Sometimes we need an eraser just to bubble in our name properly!  You could go through the test, answer all the questions, or some, and turn it in.   If we aren't willing to examine our answers, the eraser does us no good.

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