I've been debating for the past few days what to post. There has been so much going on in the world and quite frankly it is a bit overwhelming. So what I would like to talk about today is a little more in size and scope to issues and the way that I can process them and deal with them.
Today lets talk about the way that circumstances sometimes require action that we are reticent to follow through with - consequences that we are reluctant to deal with.
At Shiloh this weekend, my friend Pete and I managed to put a hole through the floor by accidentally dropping a piece of scaffolding from about 10 feet in the air. It wasn't a large hole and wasn't really dangerous, but it did need to be repaired. After a little bit of planning we decided to repair it by mounting some plywood underneath the affected area and filling in the remaining gap from the top.
We started out by putting some construction adhesive (somewhere in between caulk and superglue) on the board and then holding it tight against the exposed area. We then screwed the board down from the top. It was a fairly simple repair. What I didn't realize when I started the day, when I dropped the piece of scaffolding, or even when I began the repair, was that I might get some of this nasty brown goop on my bare forearm.
I almost immediately went and started washing it off. One problem. It doesn't wash off. I simply ended up spreading the glue around my arm. I asked around to see if there was anything that any of the more experienced contractors knew would take the stuff off.
One man did have a suggestion.
"Shave it off," he said with a smirk.
I sighed and whimpered as I stood in the shower desperately scrubbing my arm in one last effort to get it clean. But, it was to no avail.
I soaped up my arm razor in hand...
...and I put down the razor to try to scrub it clean again.
Yeah, it still didn't work. It was time to face the music.
So now I sit here writing this with one hairy arm and one arm smoother than a baby's bottom.
You might be thinking to yourself, "Self, what does this have to do with anything at all? Yeah it's funny that Tim had to shave his arm. And I enjoy a bit of laughter at his expense, but I'm not sure where he's going with this."
Well let me say it this way. I shouldn't have had my sleeves rolled up. I should have been protecting my arm hair. I made a mistake and even though I shuddered at the thought of shaving my right arm, I did what needed to be done. There were consequences for my actions and lack of forethought.
I was sorry for the fact that I put my arm in that thick goopy mess. Did my sorriness make it go away? Nope.
I worked really hard to clean up. I tried to wash myself clean. Did the soap make my matted arm hair silky and beautiful once again? Nope.
I probably could have ignored the problem for a while. But would that make the problem (or the pain of my matted hair getting caught on things) any better? Nope.
There was one solution. There was a very specific consequence. And it kinda sucks because my arm looks weird... and not just a little weird. We're talking people-looking-at-you-and-wondering-what-is-wrong-with-you-that-you-had-to-shave-your-arm weird.
You see though, the thing is this. We have the same issues emotionally in life. In stead of getting our arms all messy we get ourselves into all sorts of other, far more complicated messes! God says, "Do this - and do it this way." And we say, "Heck, yes, I want to do that! But I want to do it my way!"
One fine example is sex and marriage. God says, "Get married, then have sex, then have children." We often decide to do it our own way. We have sex. Then have children. Then we decide that "Oh yeah, maybe I should get married now." And when we do things the wrong way there are consequences. People who have sex before marriage or cohabitate are more likely to get a divorce especially if they have a child before marriage. I don't know why this is exactly, but there seems to be a strong correlation to what God has commanded. (This website and especially this infographic help explain it in more detail.)
So what I'm really driving at here is that just because you are sorry, or work hard to fix a problem, or ignore a problem, it doesn't mean that there aren't consequences. Think ahead. Live life purposefully. Keep your pants on. Don't move in with someone of the opposite sex until you are married. Pull your sleeves down if you want to keep construction adhesive off of your arm hair!
I'll end here by inquiring about some interesting consequences that you have experienced in life. I had to shave my arm. A friend once had his bed taken away as punishment (he had to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor). One of my brothers, when he was very young, was once hosed down naked in the back yard because he fell into the muck at a pond near our house and my mom didn't want him to track the muck into the house.
What unusual consequences have you had to endure and how did they come about in the first place?