While I don’t necessarily subscribe to the lifestyle and other behaviors of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, I do enjoy a lot of their music. One of my favorites is “Give It Away”. I understand that drugs are probably implied, but I see it as the Love and Life of Christ that’s being given away and passed around to your mama, papa, and daughter. That’s my RAS, dude. I see Christ in a lot of things.
So, all that being said, this post isn’t about Red Hot Chili Peppers or any of their music. It’s about giving away something. Something that’s very near and dear to your heart. Something that hurts to give away. Something that makes the one to whom you’re giving the thing feel loved and honored. Something with the power to bring all mankind together. This post is about giving away your favorite pipe.
My First Churchwarden
I talked somebody, either my wife or my mother, into getting me a Savinelli Rusticated 601 churchwarden for Christmas in 2013. It was black, long, sexy, stout, and awesome. I loved smoking the thing. I felt like Gandalf; I looked like Frodo. It was my favorite pipe.
One day, in the summer of 2014, I was sitting outside our camper in California spending time with the Lord. I received a text from my buddy Tobias in Florida stating that the (cheapo) churchwarden pipe I had gotten him for Christmas had broken. He wasn’t asking for another one nor was he complaining about the quality of my gift, he was simply disseminating information. And the Lord spoke. At least, I believe it was the Lord:
Give Toby your pipe.
You know which one.
I had a choice to make: choose my favorite pipe in the whole wide world or choose the Lord. I’d like to say it was a quick decision, but I’d be lying to you. I had to sit and consider it for a while. I was already lunting with the Lord, so I took the opportunity to pack another bowl. This was looking like a three pipe problem. Fortunately it was only a two pipe problem as I came around to the decision I knew I’d make the whole time, but was really taking my time lamenting the loss of an old friend for the benefit of an older friend.
A few weeks later, my wife attended a conference in Tennessee. Toby and his wife attended, too, so I sent my favorite pipe with my favorite person (my wife). I hadn’t said anything to Toby about giving him the pipe, so when Bridget handed it to him, he was shocked and humbled. Toby knew how much I loved this pipe; I told him every chance I got. Needless to say, he loved it. It is now his favorite pipe. And he tells me so every chance he gets. 🙂
My Second Churchwarden
Earlier that same summer, I had found a Peterson Tankard churchwarden pipe online. It was sharp, and I wanted it. With Father’s Day quickly approaching, I sweet-talked my mom into ordering it for me. I loved it. I took a few selfies of me holding the pipe when I got it. 🙂
Oddly enough, this was the pipe I was smoking when the Lord talked to me about giving Toby my other pipe. This was one consolation with giving away the other pipe: I still had this one.
Fast forward a year, and now we’re in Texas. I’ve found a couple other lunting buddies, and we’re getting together every other week or so. Things are bebopping along when I hear the Lord again:
Give Curry your pipe.
You know which one.
I knew which one. This time, I was to give away my prized Peterson. I had always wanted (I say always like I had been collecting pipes for decades – for all of my 2 1/2 years of collecting/smoking pipes I had wanted) a Savinelli and a Peterson. They are easily the most popular and recognizable pipe brands in the world. And I had one of each. Now the Lord was asking me to give away my Peterson. I didn’t hem and haw as much this time, but I did take my time to give it to Curry. I guess I was making sure I had heard the Lord correctly.
When I finally presented my friend with the pipe, he was as surprised and touched as Toby was. Now, I get texts and picture messages from Curry when he’s smoking that Peterson to let me know that he’s thinking of me and still appreciates the gift. I still think of him and appreciate his gift of friendship and brotherhood.
I love my pipes and this hobby of lunting. But I love the Lord more. So, every now and then, when I’m feeling pretty good about my collection and starting to place more value on it than what is due it, the Lord will ask me: Do you still love me more? Who is Lord? Me or your pipes? The answer is always Him, of course. He is my Lord, my pipes are not. While I enjoy the pipe and all that it represents, I enjoy the Reality more. So, when He asks me to give something away, I do it. It’s not always easy, and I may not always do it quickly, but I do it. And I am blessed beyond what I could have imagined – not with another pipe or something material, but with more of Him.
And He is my Favorite.