“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.”
I’d never seen it before, to be honest.
At least, that was my excuse at the time.
I noticed the first few orange bumps on a small shrubby plant as I was walking by. Interested, I stopped for a closer look. There were tiny yellow flowers on some of the orange bumps, which appeared to be buds of some sort.
So intent was I in my exploration that I didn’t hear Hubby’s comments at first.
When at last I became aware of his words and looked up, there they were.
A whole family of the strange plants – big ones, small ones, in-between and all shapes, each covered in buds and the beginnings of yellow blooms.
Did I mention the lethal looking thorns?
The bushes were providing a nice wind break, so we plunked ourselves down for a snack there on the steep hillside, downwind of those odd bushes.
I sat without much ceremony.
Hubby made a series of snorts and agitated sounds as I sat – with a thorny mini of the parent group ending up inches from my backside.
Whew! That was a close one!
I actually needed help gaining my feet when we left our impromptu picnic spot – without the aid of a compassionate husband hand, I would surly have been bitten in the backside.
And all because of inattention to detail.
Ever had a quick decision bite you like that?
Stray words that you’d do anything to unsay? A snap decision made without thinking things through? A thoughtless laugh at the wrong time, a careless gesture, a moment of unguarded anger you wish you had counted to ten on?
I feel you.
The truth is, we’ve all been there. We’ve all been bitten in the backside by our own choices or responses or words or emotional content. In a matter of seconds, we’re caught with our metaphorical pants down.
And it bites. It really does.
But since we are all human and all in the same boat, instead of wishing silly mistakes weren’t a part of our existence, it’s important to learn how to deal with them.
1. Own it.
Apologize. Back down. Admit your failure. Yes, it bites. But it won’t bite forever if you call it what it is.
2. Watch for patterns.
Are there certain situations that are danger zones for you? Do certain types of people draw out specific responses that aren’t what you’d like? Become aware of weak spots that can be bolstered with preventative measures or making small changes to your routine – such as getting adequate rest.
3. Take a breath.
Give yourself permission to not answer right away. To admit you don’t have an answer yet. To check the facts first before responding. To breathe and empty the reaction of emotion and Adrenalin. Just taking a good breath and thinking things through could save you from, as a random example, sitting on a nasty sea buckthorn bush. Just saying.
4. Let it go.
You blew it. That’s okay. It’s part of life – a big part, actually. But dwelling on what can’t be changed or rerunning old conversations in your mind isn’t productive and will end up hurting you more in the long run.
Bring your weakness to God. Bathe it in prayer. Bank prayers against the next fall – and be willing to practice humility and grace, both with others as well as yourself as you grow. The end goal is wisdom – and wisdom only comes with the correct application of truth learned and practiced over time.
A lifetime, in fact.
Grow in wisdom with me?
Father, we all wish we could have a ‘redo’ of some of our life choices. Remind us that You and Your righteous resources are available to us every day. You promise wisdom for those who ask in humility. Bless us with a healthy dose of wisdom for navigating the tricky situations we find ourselves in. Amen.