Nana’s switch


The other day, I was sitting in our living room and my little dog, Gidget, found my wife’s little switch. She brought it out to me, and after chasing her around the house to get it from her, I finally was successful.

I had forgotten about the little switch; however, as soon as I saw her carrying it in her mouth, a lot of memories suddenly came back to me.

Many years ago, we were blessed with five grandchildren. A little over a year ago, we were blessed again with a great-granddaughter. Three of our grandchildren have graduated from college, and our granddaughter, Lyndsay is married. We have another grandson in middle school and a granddaughter in high school.

I am sure they all remember Nana’s switch. As they began to leave the “cute” stages of their lives and got into their “ornery” stages, Nana thought it would be a great idea to have a little switch to help keep things in order.

One day, she said to me, “I think it’s time you make a little switch.” So I cut a small branch off of one of our maple trees. It was about 14-inches long and about one-sixteenth-inch in diameter. She kept it on top of our refrigerator, and when things got out of order, her familiar last words were, “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to get the switch!”

I laughed at her many times, because when she got her switch from the top of the refrigerator, she never used it. She often said she was going to use it, but there was something called love in her heart for her grandchildren that just wouldn’t allow her to use her switch. Her bark was worse than her bite.

She put the switch back on top of the refrigerator until the next time. I always called it, “the switch that never hurt.”

I was thinking a lot about this little switch recently and came to the conclusion that an abundance of love can do amazing things. Sometimes it can do more than a switch.

Nana never used her switch on our grandchildren. Instead, she used her love and it worked and is still working today. When you get a few moments, read 1 Corinthians 13 and notice the last verse says, “But the greatest of these is love.”


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George A. Hazlett is a retired minister in the Church of the Nazarene. He has written the weekly column, Think About it!, published weekly in Farm and Dairy for almost 28 years. He and his wife, Myrna, live in Hartville, Ohio.



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