Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Choices & Consequences (May 8-9)

So far (with one exception – I’ll get to that later) it has been a quiet week doing chores around the house and running errands. Linda has been gone all day helping Tracy with the twins and I’ve been getting a taste of what it must have been like for her when I was away at work all day and she was doing the “keeping the home fires burning” thing.

My Dad called Monday morning and asked me to go golfing with him since it was predicted to be the nicest day of the week. So I was out doing that Monday p.m. – with “Whitfield rules” (several Mulligans and a half dozen “free drops” and lots of “gimmees” on the green) I was under a 100 on 18 holes – but it is an easy course mostly par 3 so that’s still nothing to brag about. Dad still beat me. However, the valuable thing was spending the time with him.

So here’s the “exception” – Ever make a snap decision that turned out to be very stupid in hindsight. Tuesday morning I was riding my bike in to Sandro’s for breakfast with Roger - I was headed for the walkway along the side to chain the bike to a post. As I came in there was a guy parked (parallel with nothing in front of him) along the side blocking the access. I was going to go around the front of the truck when I noticed that he had just gotten in and had started the truck. Thinking he was going to pull forward I swung in behind to go onto to the walkway – You’ve probably guessed – he started backing up. I was yelling loudly – trying to stop and get out of the way – I (and the bike) ended up flat on the ground behind the truck. Fortunately the driver heard my yelling and saw my hands flailing and stopped. The bike wasn't damaged and neither was I but the consequences could have been much worse and I was really thankful to God for protecting me from serious harm.

Anyhow that incident got me wondering about how many times we make similar choices and don’t even realize how much danger we are placing ourselves in because the consequences aren’t immediate or obvious. I think this is especially true in the life choices we make that affect our relationship with God. I hope that a “close call” from a poorly thought out choice will (once again) remind me of the importance of thinking ahead to possible consequences when making choices – and that this is as true of small daily choices -- as it is of the “big” choices about life.

I’m also having some challenges really living by the words of Jesus to “seek the kingdom first and all these things will be given as well” – Part of the problem is that my list of “needed things” is much larger than the “food, clothing & shelter” list that Jesus seems to have been focusing on and part of it is that I really haven’t completely adjusted to the reduced income in retirement – which has been gradual since, for the first 2 years, I had some “residual” income from work and other sources that is no longer there. This is on my mind because my laptop (purchased slightly over 1 year ago) is acting up and our 10 year old car is making noises that require a visit to the garage - both of these things have the potential of destroying my budget for this year. However, I am looking back at the message we heard from Max Lucado about being thankful and I am thankful that I have both a car and a laptop. I am thankful that there hasn’t been catastrophic failures and in the case of the laptop I’m thankful that it has forced me to make a backup CD of the more important files. And (oh how silly I am to compain) I’m thankful that I have a second computer (desktop) to use while the laptop is in the shop. Finally I'm thankful because this is going to force me to move back to my office for the more "heavy duty" work on the computer which will be much better for my health (posture) . I want to say – ohboy another problem – my favorite thing – but I’m not quite there yet.

Have a good week and God Bless

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