I vividly recall the first time this lesson became abundantly clear to me! It was a cool fall night in the suburbs of Philadelphia (Dresher, PA). I was sitting on the front porch enjoying the cool of the evening during a healthy rain storm. We had a large tree in the front of the house. As I looked at the tree, I could see a small flicker that looked almost like a flame right in the middle of the tree. But, I could not wrap my mind around why or how there could be a small flame right in the middle of that huge tree. I went inside and got my son Joshua to look at the flicker and tell me what he thought. He was a young fella, so he said he didn’t know. So, in order to end the awkward silence and to maintain my status as an all-knowing parent, I told Joshua that it must have been the street light shining on one of the wet leaves. Yeah, that’s it…clearly the street light shining on a leaf! (It sure looked like a flame, but hey I decided to walk past it!) Well at about 2:00 a.m. I was awakened, after falling asleep in the office, by a loud bang and the brightest light I had ever seen in my life! In my groggy state I imagined it was the return of Christ (lol, pretty sure that future event won’t traumatize me???) As I rushed to the window, alarmed by the bright light, I watched a power line erupt in the middle of that tree and send the electric line down to the ground in the front yard. The arc on the end of that line as it burned across the front yard was about 3 feet in circumference. That little fireball proceeded to burn a 3 foot deep trench across the entire front yard. Long story short, I called the power company and they got things back in order fairly quickly.
The lesson? I walked by something that didn’t make sense to me. There was something going on in my life that I couldn’t explain or understand, so instead of taking the time to figure it out, I walked past it. How many things are you walking past in your life right now? Maybe you are in a relationship that no longer makes sense to you. Maybe a certain such and such isn’t treating you properly and instead of taking the time to either get it straight or move on, you are deciding to simply walk by what you see without doing anything. After all, it’s easier that way right? Maybe, just maybe things will work themselves out. Let me spare you some time here. Things will not only not work themselves out, but you will find yourself with a large, deep, scarred trench across your entire front yard! Maybe there is some necessary work you have been avoiding. Maybe there are things you need to repair or replace. Letting the stuff go only serves to add more and more stress to your life. I’m not talking about a witch-hunt to seek out problems. No, not at all! I’m talking about those things that nag and harass your mind day by day. You know quite well what those things are because they are at the front of your mind. Maybe you find yourself unsatisfied by your job or where you live or who you are hanging out with. Well, my friends, things are not going to change unless you change them. Things aren’t going to get better after some magical ship rolls in, nor is anyone else going to step in and make those changes in your life. That job is reserved for you and for you alone.
So here’s my advice, as someone who previously held a PhD in ignoring things, your life is way too short and way too important for you to be unhappy. You don’t need to solve all the world’s problems, just the ones that bug you the most. Start there! When you run into roadblocks, and you will, don’t forget to get God’s help. God is invested in your happiness, at least as much as you are! (smile) And finally, just never, ever forget, electricity, if left to its own devices, burns the bejesus out of the lawn!