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Friday, December 10, 2010

Lessons learned

I learned something yesterday.

Never use a blowtorch in the living room.

You'd think this would be obvious, but it never occurred to me that superheating things -- specifically a glass bottle that then exploded in spectacular ways -- over the coffee table and the living room carpet could turn out badly. Duh.

So, lesson learned, I'm (hopefully) doing two things today. First, I'm trying to figure out how to fix stuff so my wife doesn't have to live with a damaged domicile. Second, I'm trying to figure out how to remember this lesson and even apply it in other areas of life so I don't make the same kind of mistakes again.

One thing that has occurred to me as I'm living with the aftermath. How often do we do things like this in other areas of life? Figuratively speaking, many of us carry an emotional blowtorch into the living rooms of our lives and we end up doing lots of damage in the relationships most important to us. Why not figure out an appropriate setting to use that emotional blowtorch, and find ways to protect those close relationships? The people around us get used to our emotional blowtorch going off and when it starts to heat up, they either strike first (preemptive vengeance?) or they avoid us in order to avoid the explosion.

Some of us do the same thing on a spiritual level. When God starts to work in our lives, we find ways to create a crisis rather than let him do his work. The crisis is distracting and prevents us from having to face difficult truths about our selves.

So I'm still debriefing, but here's a question: What's your equivalent of a blowtorch in the living room? Can you choose to deal with that blowtorch -- whether it's explosive emotions, spiritual avoidance, or whatever -- in a way that's appropriate, that respects the people around you, and that gives God freedom to work in your life?

I've got to go plan a coffee table refinishing project.

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