Life’s Lessons


I knew better

Several years ago I had left a metal cable for tying the dogs out wrapped around the clothesline pole. Thought nothing of it. When it came lawn mowing time, I still thought nothing of it. It was wrapped tightly around the pole. Surely, it wouldn’t catch the blade, I thought. I was wrong. The blade caught the cable and wrapped it tightly around itself!

Fortunately, I had a nearby neighbor who would probably help me out so I drove the tractor over there. As he was pulling and tugging to free the cable, he looked up and said, “You know what’s the worst part of this, Helen?” He continued, “You don’t have anyone else to blame!” How true! When things go wrong our first impulse seems to be finding someone else to blame.

Well, the other day I got one of those domestic spells. It was in the kitchen. There was chicken in the freezer which needed to be used so it wouldn’t freezer burn, so I put it in the oven.

After it cooled enough to handle, I deboned it, carefully removing the skin as I worked. Had not yet decided what I was going to do with it, but at least it was this far along.

Then I thought creamed chicken over biscuits sounded good.

Now, many years ago, I learned that making biscuits from scratch is not my forte! Even the dogs couldn’t eat them. They are probably still buried to this day and could be mistaken for rocks. This time, I would make the biscuits from a mix. So far, so good.

Back to the chicken. I needed to cook some onion to add flavor and, oh, I wished for a carrot to add a bit of color. Didn’t have any carrots, but my neighbor did and agreed to give me one. When I picked it up, she told me to take a couple of them so I did. Back at home, I cut one up to add to the onion already in the pan. The other carrot? Well, I didn’t need it in the chicken concoction so I ate it.

Then I put that small amount of veggies in a small amount of water to cook. It would only take a few minutes, I knew, but I don’t tolerate idleness very well. I would just go to the computer for a couple of minutes while those veggies cooked. I knew better than to do that!

Several minutes later, I thought, “Oh, I’d better check on my cooking!” I didn’t get to the kitchen before I knew the truth – I had stayed away too long. Yes, I could smell it!

I put the sauce pan in the sink, hoping to salvage it from its now blackened condition, and let it soak while I diced up another onion. Carrot? I ate it, remember? I would just do without that bit of color which would have made supper more appetizing.

The carrot lender friend came over for supper – even though she knows my history with making biscuits. She came in and said, “Oh, it smells good!” I was still smelling the burned veggies. She also didn’t notice the carrot was missing from the chicken.

The pan? It had been a pretty and handy pan, really my favorite. Notice I said “had been”. Though it is once again useable, it will never again be called pretty as it bears the blackened scars of the burn.

You know, that’s a whole lot like our lives. We do things we ought not to do, things we really know better than to do. We can be redeemed to useable status but our lives bear the scars of the incident. It’s not usually some really big thing – just little stuff that mars our fellowship with our Heavenly Father and/or with our fellow Christians. It may also mar our testimony before those we are trying to win to a saving relationship with Jesus.

We knew better and there is no one else to blame. But the worst part? That interruption of our fellowship that could cause someone else to miss heaven because we were careless.

I knew better