Daily Thoughts, February 25, 2002
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Smoke

We all recognize the conversation. A debate over doing something trivial explodes into fundamental questions of life choices. Before we know it we are making decisions that will impact and haunt us the rest of our life!

Grandpa Lange, he was everyone’s grandpa, gave me this advice during the early days of my marriage. “Treat you marriage s if the next moment is your complete life.”

Puzzled, I pressed him for a larger explanation.

“The next minute in your life is like the next hour. The next hour is like the next day. The next day will be like the coming month. Are you getting the sequence?”

I nodded yes, but the real answer was not really. The formula intellectually made sense, but the emotional logic escaped me. Is my future that simple?

The proverb states that “The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before it bursts.” (Proverbs 17.14)

Sounds logical and appeals to the part of my brain that should house common sense. However, this does not mean that I use it! Yesterday’s explosion of stress is a classic example. The only good news is that before the dam quickly burst and flooded everyone the cycle was broken. Frankly, I cannot claim credit; it was Cherry’s calm response that allowed me to see the smoke swirling all around me. As my throat choked up, I knew something was wrong. A quick inspection revealed a larger fire smoldering and ready to explode.

As I watch life around me it seems that the smoke in my life is far more common than one might realize. Marriages destroyed in a single moment of passion or anger. Relationships broken and requiring yet another miracle because of stolen potato chip. Hurt and pain lingering far too long because someone did not see the smoke in their actions.

I can only deal with my life and give away the experience that comes. Living in the present is challenging because it requires one to let go completely and trust. In the process comes Peace.

February 24, 2002
February 26, 2002