I love the old classic Andy Griffith Show. In the first episode, Opie was having a hard time adjusting to the loss of his beloved caretaker, Rose, who got married and moved away. When Aunt Bea came on the scene, Opie wanted nothing to do with her. He continually compared her to Rose and, try as she might; she just could not measure up to her predecessor. Aunt Bea tried to do the things little boys like to do – like fishing and throwing a baseball – but it just didn’t work.
Sadly, she acquiesced to the idea that she was just not a good caretaker for Opie. And so the camera pans to the scene where she is getting ready to leave. Opie saw all this from his upstairs window and realized what was happening. He raced downstairs and out the door, breathlessly insisting that she stay. Why the sudden change? I paraphrase here, but it was something like, “She can’t fish, she can’t play baseball…she can’t do anything! You need me, Aunt Bea!”
Though I can’t help but smile, the fact is, I’m reminded daily that I need an Opie, too. I need a LOT of Opie’s! Though I am good at many things, there are also things I simply can’t do. I may try, but really, I’m just not good at those things and, frankly, I do not enjoy them. Thankfully, I have many “Opie’s” in my life who help me along the way.
One example – spreadsheets. I hate them as much as Aunt Bea hated fishing worms. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with spreadsheet geniuses through the years to make up for my shortcomings there. I also find no great joy in the art of cooking. I am blessed to have a wonderful daughter who loves to cook – and who, by the way, is quite gifted at it.
I am working on a consulting project right now that is major in scale and short on a deadline, and I am truly thankful to have a whole Opie army covering almost 20 major metropolitan areas to help carry out the project.
In life, we all need Opie’s…those who step in where we fall short. I need them, and you need them, too. Not only am I the grateful recipient of the frequent bailout, I also find great joy in helping others where they fall short. Introverts need extroverts. “People” people need “task” people. Idea people need practical people. Leaders need followers.
Every Aunt Bea needs an Opie. And though he may not always realize it immediately, every Opie needs an Aunt Bea. Take a little time this holiday season to thank your Opie (or Aunt Bea)!