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Saturday QTMs, 8/29/15:

Posted by on August 29, 2015

Getting in is always easier than getting out.

Always.

Car.  Argument.  Wild carnival ride.  Someone else’s discussion.  Trouble.

Much easier to get in than out.

I drive a 1996 Mustang SVT Cobra convertible, as often with the top down as weather permits.  We’ve been known to put jackets on and leave the windows up, warm air blowing on our legs, just to enjoy the freedom.

The Snake, like any convertible, is slap fun to drive and ride in – for the two in the front.  At highway speeds, backseat passengers find the gale-force airflow sucking their ears off slightly offputting.  And unless they’re card-carrying Munchkins, it’s pretty close quarters back there.  Mustangs are not known for being rear seat roomy.  This is especially true when the top is up.  To get in there with the top raised and latched requires greater than normal dexterity.  To get out requires either several months of pre-ride yoga or several visits to your favorite chiropractor afterwards.


Getting in is always easier than getting out.


Over this week, I’ve had this lesson gradually pressed in on my soul again like the rich experience of lighting sealing wax, letting the fragrant molten lava drip into a small, hot puddle, then pressing one’s favorite metal seal into the wax.  It leaves an impression. . .

Last Monday I was busily thinking, reading, composing and editing.  I was so occupied by it that I at first didn’t notice the tiny footfalls and light bumping sounds from overhead.

Soon, however, it was insistent enough that I finally had to pay attention.  A little animal of some sort had somehow gotten isolated in the air ducting that runs through my office ceiling.  Baby squirrel.  Bird.  Extra large centipede.

Whatever it was, it was brashly confident in its ability to get back out of the ducting as simply and easily as it had gotten in.  Later on, I would recall this sobering progression – or, more correctly, regression.

First Day:  Adrenaline is pumping.  What an adventure!  “Never been in here before.  Sure is dark, though.  Huh.  Woo-hoo!  This is–  hey, wonder what’s around this bend?  Oooh, what’s that?  Nah…  doesn’t taste good.  I need to come back here when there’s more time.  Probably ought to get back before long.  Let’s see–I think I came in this way . . .”  Efforts to find its way out were noisy, aggressive, assured.  The little footsteps were rapid, searching, confident.  “Yep.  I can get out of this any time I want.  Simple.  AN-NEEE time.”

That’s the persistent scritchy-scratching and rhythmic bumping noise that finally intruded into my thinking.  As I sat listening, the stark truth of what I was hearing settled in my spirit like a cold fog eases its dreary, obese, smothering bulk down, down onto everything.

It took me awhile that day to get my mind back on the task immediately before me.

Second Day:  The scritchy-scratching and bumping was slower and more thoughtful.  “I was sure this was the way back.  I know I can find it if I’m patie—   Ow.  Nope.  That isn’t it, either.  I’m starting to get hungry and thirsty.  Um—”  The tiny footsteps were hesitant, now, the search for freedom more focused, the young animal a little more perplexed and anxious.

Third DayHalting, much slower, disoriented steps. . .  Rustling, dragging sounds . . .  “I   was   sure   I   could   get    out . . .   Hungry. . .    So thirsty . . .    Sleepy. . .   Can’t—–“

Fourth DayNothing from the ducting.  I know.  I was listening, keenly aware, my hearing reaching out, questing like a search radar beam, wanting to pull in the slightest return.  About lunch time there was a single scratch . . .  and a slight dragging sound.  Nothing more.

I just sat here, tears coursing down my face.  It’s why my writing this week wasn’t so proliferant.  Distracted?  You could say that.  As bitter as was the lesson, there was nothing I could do to ease the outcome.  Nothing.

We’ve all done it.

“I’ve got this.  I know what I’m doing.  I can get out of this any time.  I can stop this the minute I—”   Then a day or a month or 7 years later you’re suddenly brought to a burnt-rubber, screeching halt with the realization that you don’t know how to get out, to get back.

You’re sincere – deadly in earnest about getting back, setting stuff right, getting yourself back out of whatever predicament, whatever set of habits or familiar way of thinking made you so cozy and at home in its grasp.  You want to.  You pray for God to help you.  Each day you get up with the resolve that this will be the day of freedom.  You confidently, purposefully walk that way, thinking, “I just know THIS is the w—–“

***Crunch!***  Forehead, nose, lips, chin, at least one set of knuckles, kneecaps and toes.  When you’re not expecting to walk into a wall and are unprepared for impact, all those things remind you:  “Dude.  Wall?”

Solomon wrote it:  “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way” (19:2).  Translated another way:  “Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste.”

How’d The Wisest Man Who Ever Lived know that?  The same way its truth resonates deep inside you and I like a mile-diameter bronze gong hammered by Gabriel. . .

Choices followed by consequences.  All the cute sayings like, “NEVER MAKE PERMANENT DECISIONS BASED ON TEMPORARY FEELINGS” make you want to throw up and throw things for two reasons:

  • They’re spot on
  • We decided to pay attention to them too late.

Getting in is always easier than getting out.

I haven’t walked through the door into my office since Thursday without an involuntary glance up at the sealed ducting, thinking of a little creature whose decaying carcass brings a recurring lesson.

Getting in a hurry, stepping in between God and His timing and plan for your life – or that of someone else – never happens without cost.  Though you may later see the error and earnestly try to retrace your steps, it’s never the same.  The soul-anguish is never worth it, nor is the cost to you and to others’ lives permanently affected by your decisions.

Ask Abraham.

Hasty conclusions lead to speedy repentance. – Publilius Syrus

© D. Dean Boone, August 2015

One Response to Saturday QTMs, 8/29/15:

  1. Jerry and Marilyn Houlden

    Hope you folks are doing well. We have been traveling a bit, celebrating our 50th anniversary, so have missed a number of your 2nd cups!! Now we are back to the “real world!” 🙂 Have a good weekend!

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