Mental Health Ministries

The Parable of the Single Sock

The Parable of the Single SockI read the story of a well-known senator who was riding a new excursion boat up the Potomac River. It was a warm day, and the senator had removed his shoes and socks and settled back in a deck chair to wiggle his toes. His socks hung on the railing in front of him.

One of the many columnists aboard the boat observed that someone running along the deck inadvertently brushed against one of the socks. It fell over the railing and was swallowed up by the churning river. The columnist watched to see what followed next. The senator, seeing what had happened, calmly went over to the railing. He picked up the remaining sock and tossed it overboard.

I thought about how I would have been tempted to take the one remaining sock home and put it in my drawer with all the other single socks. Even though I would never retrieve the mate, it is difficult for many of us to throw away a perfectly good sock. And so our lives become full of single socks...things that have no use to us except to clutter up our lives.

Maybe it is time to go through some of the drawers in our lives...to clean out all the things that serve no purpose...to get down to some simple basics. It takes courage to be move forward, and that may mean throwing out our single socks, simplifying our lives and doing less of those things that ultimately help no one. Then we can chose those things in our lives that have meaning and purpose, and pursue them with gusto.