My daughter, Keely, asked me the other day if we had any electrical tape. I responded, “Probably”. She continued to stare at me. She asked me a question and I answered it. I was ready to move on. I was on my way out the door for work. But she was still staring at me. “And…” I inquired. “Well, I need it for a science project and if we don’t have any then Mom and I will pick some up. We’re getting ready to leave.” I was sure that we did have some but it might take a 30 minute all-points bulletin intensive search to find it. That stuff is so small and our house in comparison is so big. Did I mention that I was in a big hurry? While Keely continued to stare at me I ran a quick calculation through my little bird brain. Electrical tape…$2-3 tops. My time to find it…worth more than that. “Just buy some new tape.” Off she went and so did I.
I counted the cost before making a decision. We all face much bigger decisions than this each day. Mine involved a literal cost, $2-3, but many decisions have consequences far greater than any price tag. Many have ripple effects that can last a long time, if not forever. Spontaneity is great in the right context, but impulsiveness can be costly also…especially when it involves words that fly out of our fat mouths. The right word at the right time will get the right results. The wrong words at the wrong time will get you in trouble. Critiquing my daughter Shelby in the middle of her softball assessments was not the right place and time. I didn’t count the cost of that decision and her crushed spirit was a high price to pay for my irresponsibility.
It seems that we live in a world where people don’t count the cost of their decisions. Charlie, Arnold, Clemens, Weiner, me, you…I guess it’s always been that way, but its prevalence today has given rise to new vocabulary and tactics….damage control, spin doctors, wag the dog…
I wonder if people have forgotten about repentance and forgiveness?