A Proverb says if we don’t keep our promises we are like clouds without rain. When gardens are the children in our lives, those rain clouds are needed regularly for good growth. I made a fair promise to a five-year-old, and I let her down. I was a cloud without rain. Here is what happened.
A Simple Promise?
It started out simple enough. The five-year-old, her seven-old sister, and I went to a ceramic store to paint. Looking at all the pottery on the shelves reminded me of ribbon-awarded crafts at the county fair years ago. Since the seven-year-old had just started guitar lessons, I thought the 5-year-old could use a boost of attention. Besides, she spent twice as much time on her ceramic project as her sister did on her masterpiece. It seemed fair.
“You know we could enter your vase in the county fair,” I told her. “You may or may not win a ribbon, but you never know until you try.”
“What colors are the ribbons?” she asked with bright eyes.
“Blue ribbons are for first place winners, red ribbons for second place, and white ribbons for third. Sometimes, a giant purple ribbon is given for best of show.”
She was hooked. In the months that transformed spring into summer she asked several times when I was going to enter her vase.
“The fair happens at harvest time,” I explained. “The rules aren’t up on the website yet. They will probably put something up in July.”
I Missed the Deadline!
Unfortunately, I didn’t keep checking the website until July when I discovered I missed the entry deadline by two days! Immediately, I left a voice message to see if the County Fair Powers had any mercy.
My plaintive call was never returned. I was devastated for breaking a promise.
When needing help, James 1:5 has rescued me numerous times: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” In faith, I asked for wisdom to handle this broken promise.
An Idea To Repair a Broken Promise
I was surprised how quickly an idea came. Maybe the deadline had not passed for the Colorado State Fair craft exhibits. Of course, it would be more difficult to win, and I didn’t think every child received a ribbon, but just maybe….
I looked up the details on the Colorado State Fair website. Sure enough, the rules were the same—just send in $5 and bring or mail the item by a certain date.
“There’s bad news and good news,” I told the little girl who had just turned six. She was very forgiving and ran and got her vase for me to enter. She filled out the paper work with a little help.
“Will I still get a ribbon?” she asked.
“Maybe. We won’t know unless we try,” I said.
As it turned out my granddaughter was in school the day the vase was judged. If there is such a thing as a helicopter grandma, I was one that day. I drove an hour to the fairgrounds and submitted the vase. Three hours later I returned to the exhibit hall to find out whether the little vase won any ribbon at all.
But, “I can’t find my granddaughter’s vase,” I moaned to the fair lady with a zillion keys jingling on her waistband as she halted me from going into the judging area.
“I just want to know if she won anything,” I said.
The lady with a zillion keys was compassionate to this crazy woman. She found the vase and held it up through a makeshift fence (to keep out thieves and grandmas).
There on the registration card was a blue dot!
“Oh! Oh! All she wanted was to win any ribbon! This is wonderful!” I babbled to the fair judges, who have probably handed out a zillion ribbons in their careers and didn’t understand the magnitude of this blue dot.
Two weeks later, the vase was put on display and a blue ribbon hung around its neck. The extra good news was blue ribbon winners received $15, and all exhibitors could take five pounds of flour when they picked up their wares. My granddaughter got her ribbon and cash, but I kept the flour for making three trips to the Colorado State Fairgrounds—to enter the vase, to see the vase displayed, and to retrieve that blue ribbon beauty and put it into the hands of one happy child.
“A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain”(Proverbs 25:14 NIV).
Photos of other winners at the 2016 Colorado State Fair and a photo of the impressive Chainsaw Mama!
Award Winning Quilts
Children Chefs Can Bake