August 11, 2021 Maranatha Baptist Church

Do Not Collect Straw - Todd Grover

Do Not Collect Straw - Todd Grover

Do Not Collect Straw: It is best for your relationships.


I am sure all of you have heard the idiom, “The straw that broke the camel’s back.” This saying most likely originated with Arab speaking people long ago. However, the first recorded usage of the phrase occurred in an Australian newspaper called the Age, in 1854. The saying drew from a common occurrence in the Arab speaking part of the world regarding the carrying capacity of a camel. Not only was the camel known for its hump on its back, but also its ability to carry a substantial amount of cargo on the same. If a camel has such a large cargo capacity, how then can one little piece of straw break a camel’s back?

We all know the answer to this. If one little piece of straw is added to thousands of other pieces of straw, the camel now has a big problem. So, the key to a successful journey with a camel is knowing which piece of straw is too much. The above parable provides this wisdom for us, there is a limit to the number of adverse events and annoyances a person can tolerate at any one time. Beyond this obvious lesson taught, what is the practical application to be learned?

In anyone’s life there are things we put up with. Have you ever said to yourself, “it’s no big deal?” Every time you say that, there is a chance you just added a straw to your back. What we all must realize is one day, one more straw added to your back is going to be the cause of a totally unexpected verbal explosion on your part. Case in point. Have you ever blown up at your spouse over a totally insignificant event or action? Why? It is quite likely prior to this explosion, you had multiple scenario’s when you said to yourself, “it’s no big deal.” The last “no big deal,” was the straw that broke your back and caused your mouth to become the most recent active volcano, spewing forth toxic verbiage.

Instead of putting straws on our backs, it would seem wiser if we addressed the straws individually as they come. I can see the flailing arms of protest right now. People screaming at the screen, “we would nitpick each other to death.” “It’s just easier to shut up and put up.” Yes, until the camel’s back breaks and all the straws fly in your spouse’s face. At which time you will pick up each straw individually and wave it in your spouse’s face.

It is best, if something is bothering you about your spouse or other individual, talk about it. For the health of your marriage, family, friendship etc., talk about the things that bother you. If you do this on a regular basis, no one will be found one straw short of a broken back, or major explosion. It is best for relationships if neither one of you accumulate straws.

Next time, we will look at the scriptures admonition to be longsuffering, patient etc., and how this meshes with not becoming a laden down camel ready to explode.