• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Friday, February 17, 2012


One careless moment, just one!

I have some water glasses.
They are every-day-nothing-special, for-the-table glass.
We keep them on the second shelf of the cabinet by the sink.
It is above the dishwasher.

This morning I was unloading the dishwasher in my typical routine.

My mind was churning out a million things to alleviate boredom and I certainly was not paying attention to the drudgery at hand.  Doing dishes is not among my favorite things - I don't hate it like when I was a kid, and I would sorely miss having dishes if they were gone (as disposables are also not among my favorite things), but dirty and clean dishes seldom, if ever, engage my full attention.

The cabinet door was just a bit less open than usual. As I lifted the last glass up it clipped the very edge of the door and smashed the top into small pieces that fell to the counter below.

My attention was riveted on the dishes now.

I was astonished.
 How was that even possible?
On the last glass?
Why not the first one or any other one?

Perhaps that riddle was what my attention was really on ...
but only for a second or two.

Suddenly I had half of a jagged edged glass in my hand.
I set it on the counter.

Experience with broken glass dictated several options of what to do next. If you are like me you know, absolutely know (with understanding of why), that you should never pick the pieces up with your bare fingers but I did it anyway and dropped them into the bottom half. Not in the slightest wise, certainly risk taking - ooohhh - can't you just feel the last cut you got that way? Whheewww! I did not cut my fingers, or thumbs. I was being quite careful though. I do remember the last slice I got by being so foolish.

Why do we take such risks?

Since you have likely broken glasses too, you also know that you will find pieces here and there for days (or even longer) in strange places. Knowing this I looked around and sure enough found several inside the dishwasher, on the floor, in the sink, and in the cabinet itself. Some were even so large I was surprised I had not initially seen them.

Experience also reminded me to not walk around in bare feet until the floor was carefully swept. I swept. I know how difficult it is to remove a glass sliver from a foot.

When I remembered that I decided to mop as well.

I finished the dishes and washed the counters. Over on the far right side of the sink, laying along its edge I quite unexpectedly found a pea sized square of glass. I really had thought I had looked around carefully and gotten them all - at least all the bigger pieces.

I ponder such things.

In just one moment a perfectly good glass was destroyed by careless neglect. It was not deliberate, but I took no thought.  I wonder how many other things in my day I do not take thought to regard. What other routines or interactions have become 'boring'?

Did I tell my husband I love him?
Do I act like I love him?

Did I talk with God?
Do I actually kneel and pray?
Every day? Do I pour out my heart?
Do I open my mind?

Did I tell him thank you yet?
Did I tell anyone thanks?

Did I listen - to anyone about anything?
Really taking thought?

Am I deciding - thoughtfully choosing what I eat, wear, say, make, accomplish or attempt? Or am I being careless and thoughtless?

A lack of balance may contribute to reduced mobility, obesity, and a host of other health problems that are exacerbated by our quick-fix-pill expectations. Mindless routines precipitate habits and lifestyles that damage self esteem and erode our abilities to perceive and receive counsel from God or man.

SMASHED marriages and families come from not 'taking thought'. The damage begins with one careless word or act.

Do we 'clean up' broken feelings as quickly as broken glass?

Perhaps they are easy to 'sweep under a rug' [push aside] in what we hurriedly decide for the 'short term." Later it seems to become progressively more difficult to gather up the pieces and not cause even more damage, yet a shard of glass laying unnoticed on the floor or inside the cupboard can never cause the harm of hurtful words or unkindness.

Sometimes we must 'clean up' repeatedly - even days, weeks or months after something is broken. Sometimes even years.

Did you ever find a piece of glass behind the frig or at the back of a shelf and remember what had been broken? Usually I just wonder what was broken or where it came from and how long it has been there. I am always glad if it can be swept up and disposed of safely.

Perhaps feelings are like that. Perhaps some shard lies in wait to hurt again when least suspected and I may  not even remember what or why. I do not study dust covered broken pieces of glass. I just throw them out so they can not cause anyone harm. Some old feelings ARE like that.

Do I have any feelings that need to be disposed of?
Taking thought to do so carefully will prevent more pain.
Maybe I need to mop out some nooks and crannies.

Perhaps I need to look again?
Have I swept carefully enough?