Shortest and Sweetest

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Mom Praying

I once wrote a song that I titled “The Shortest Song”. It went like this:

This is the shortest song,

It won’t take long.

Hold your applause, because, compliments of Mom, I would like to present “The Shortest Sermon”.

But, before I do, a little background might help set the scene.

Mom was a Baptist preacher’s wife… one of the best there ever was.  And one of her greatest achievements was making sure dad wrapped his sermon in time for his large congregation to leave the church at exactly noon in order to “Beat the Presbyterians to cafeteria”.

As a member of the choir, Mom strategically located herself in the choir loft so she would be right behind dad who was right behind his pulpit.

Five minutes or so before noon, those of us in the know would hear mom tap, tap, tap her foot on the back of the choir loft. And, even though dad was hard of hearing, the vibrations penetrated his whole being signaling, “Beat the Presbyterians, Fred … we have to beat the Presbyterians to the cafeteria.”

No matter where dad was in his sermon, he mastered creating a fast close following the tap, tap, tap signal.

Yesterday, on our drive to Circle Center Adult Day Care, Mom was pointing out all of the seasonal changes that were going on.

Mom: “Look at that … those trees are green all over. Look at those flowers … aren’t they beautiful. What do you call this?”

Me: “I call it springtime in Virginia, Mom. It’s springtime in Virginia!”

Mom: “Who made it?”

Me: “God, Mom. God made it.”

Mom: “Oh my goodness … that Man and his Boy up there are working for us all the time!”

That’s it … that last sentence of Mom’s was “The Shortest Sermon” … the shortest and sweetest.

It was so short, we still had time to pass the offering plate.

And, I could have slipped in “The Shortest Song” while parking our “Church on Wheels” smack dab in front of the cafeteria. Yep, even after all these years, we would beat those Presbyterians once again.

I don’t know about you, but this blog is making me hungry. So, let’s end it with “The Shortest Prayer”.

(tap, tap, tap) Amen!

About Tom Laughon

Tom Laughon (Pronounced Lawn) is President of Catch Your Limit, an organization whose sole purpose is to guide and grow leaders. His journey from lead singer in a rock-n-roll band, to a successful career in marketing & advertising to consultant, strategist, keynote speaker, facilitator, professor and writer is a fascinating one. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Tom and his team guide organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to national associations, to "catch their limit" in areas such as leadership development, creativity, innovation, teaming and transformational change. His commitment to "practice what he preaches" has made Catch Your Limit a petri dish for round-the-clock discovery and learning. The firm's brand reflects Tom's personal brand: Fun, Inspirational, Strategic & Hot!

10 responses »

  1. Simply Priceless!


  2. Simply Love It !!! How Sweet !!!!


  3. When I would sit with Helen and Nel in church on the back row, when time came Helen stood up and then sat down. It meant cut it Fred!!!! I have told that story often. So special!


  4. Nancy Mathews

    Beautiful Tom! That Man and His Boy… it! Thanks for sharing!


  5. Bill Tyndall

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philp. 4: 13


  6. Carol Taylor Stephens

    Tom and Helen,
    While having too much time on my hands at the computer today I ran across this page. You may remember my mother, Lois Taylor, your Dad’s secretary at FBC/Gainesville. She, too, was a light in my life just like your mother is to you. Mom lived to be almost 96 and went home to the Man and his boy a couple of years ago. I miss her greatly but relish the wonderful ideals she left me.
    Carol Taylor Stephens
    PS: So sorry to learn about Nell.


    • Carol, so sorry I didn’t reply to your reaching out to me until now. I love being on the receiving end of comment, but the reply side has been pitiful. So … with that said, YES, I remember your mom. And, if it wasn’t for our mom’s, dad would not have been nearly as successful doing what he did (sounds like mojo)! Dad was like me. He was always in the moment, and was oblivious to the big picture. That’s where our moms came in. My mom’s spirit is a constant reminder of the spirit that was the essence of what defined our family when it was running on all four cylinders. She is such a joyful human … always has been. I miss our family. I miss the good old Gainesville days that meant so much to all of us. But, I cherish the memories and am blessed to have been a small part of it all. Here’s to the day you had too much time on your hands and you found me. You know there’s more to that then meets the eye. That’s what it’s all about.



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