The four words to avoid will not be a list of the four worst words or four potty-mouth expressions. Instead, I want to focus on four words that Kris and I use, that you might use, that someone at your workplace might use. These four words shape behaviors, they enable us not to have to make a decision, and they clog places in our homes.
The four words are: “Might need it someday!” Go ahead, repeat it to yourself aloud: “Might need it someday.” With or without the exclamation; it doesn’t matter.
Do you use these words to explain non-decision or hope or procrastination?
For instance, Kris got it in her head the other day that, since we had a fresh coating of paint in the upstairs bedrooms, perhaps it was time to replace the sheets on Luke’s old bed. She found a wonderful new color that I really like. Which meant taking off the old sheets and putting them in a linen closet that had, you guessed it, about 15 old sheets that we might … go ahead and say it with me … “Might need it someday” sheets and pillow cases.
So, I checked out my storage room in the basement to see what I might have hanging around. There it was: a big box of baseballs. And I don’t mean a shoebox; I mean a box much bigger. I was a coach for years; I ran a baseball camp for 12 summers; and Luke played some minor league baseball and always managed to come home with some baseballs. So, I checked the box. Lots of baseballs. “Might need them someday,” I know I had said a few times as to why I keep hold of baseballs that are grass-stained so much they’ve turned golden brown. Now I don’t need these; Luke doesn’t need these. Maybe, I say to myself, “I’ll need them someday when (if ever) we have grandkids.” Well, that’s a number of years away so far as I can calculate. By the time grandkids come here, my shoulder will be so weak I’ll not be able to pitch or play catch and those baseballs might already have turned into dust — to use a bit of a famous line in the Bible.
Then we were cleaning something out and I noticed another closet with a bundle, and I mean a bundle, of baby blankets … which we just might need someday. Of course, they might be yellowed and smelly by that time, but we might need them someday.
What about books? In a modest assessment I’ve got plenty. Six feet of books on Romans. One can’t possibly read that many in the work I do on Romans. “Someday,” I say to myself, “I just might need Sanday and Headlam” even though I know full well that everything those two ancients said that was good has been assumed and reused in all good commentaries — and I’ve got most of them.
Speaking of books. I used to read about 20 baseball books a year. Loved them. Now I look up at a three shelves of books about baseball. I can’t imagine needing them someday, and Luke says he doesn’t want them. A friend of mine was writing a novel with some baseball stuff in it, so I sent her 10 books or so. I haven’t missed them.
One thing I’m glad of. I’m glad all of us don’t decide to get rid of everything we might need but, in fact, won’t need on the same day.
Some people, I’m told, think they might need leisure suits someday. Buddy, forgetaboutit.