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Friday, May 6, 2016

Little things can wreck havoc in our lives

Friday, September 30, 2011

One tiny thing. No big deal. Or so it seemed.

It all began when my car window wouldn't roll up. That issue appeared fixed after the dashboard gauge indicated the tire pressure was low, Dave added air and the window cooperated and closed. I asked if there was a correlation between the two. My pragmatic husband suggested I never become a mechanic.

Days after the tire/window situation was remedied, the radio acted up. It would come on and go off at will -- its will, not mine. Then, over night, the "keyless entry" required a key, followed by the dashboard lights failing and the window reverting to its former behavior. This past Sunday when Dave and I got into my car he noticed water dripping from the rear view mirror. As it turned out, the entire headliner was wet. Splendid. The problems were mounting.

Fortunately, we were able to get my car to the dealership before it disintegrated. Once the mechanic realized the problem, he called to tell me it would take several hours of work to fix all the electrical elements damaged by the water that had leaked into the sun roof plug which had somehow come loose. (Since neither Dave nor I have the habit of checking that tube, the problem went undetected.)

I told Dave he shouldn't become a mechanic, either.

In our defense, however, it was just a tiny plug. So insignificant. How could THAT have led to such monumental problems?

But the same thing happens in our spiritual life, doesn't it?

The Song of Solomon gives us a great illustration of something tiny wrecking havoc.

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes."

Foxes in search of food were known to enter grape orchards, devouring the grapes and spoiling the crop. However, the little foxes were too small to reach the grape bunches so they would chew on the vines, resulting in the entire vine dying -- much more damaging.

We need to learn from this analogy. Sometimes it's the "little things" that can lead to disastrous endings. Research shows that serial killers typically were into "harmless" pornography as youngsters. Gang leaders admit to teasing classmates when they were in elementary school.

Every addict began with one drink or one joint or one sniff. "Insignificant"? Think again.

Most of us have been guilty of such crimes, but chances are we know people who have given into their desires for a few moments of pleasure, resulting in a lifetime of regret.

The adulterous spouse who weakened that one time and ended up losing a marriage partner; the young teenager who failed to resist the drug-of-choice offered at the weekend party, only to find himself standing before a judge the following Monday; the single girl who became pregnant, believing her lover would stand beside her, only to find she was facing this responsibility alone.

Unfortunately, for most of these choices, there is no "quick fix." There is no on-call mechanic who will repair the damage in a couple of days.

For most of us who allow our "insignificant" behaviors to go unnoticed, the cost can be prohibitive, and I don't know about you, but I'll take a defective car window any day.

Patty LaRoche
Patty LaRoche: Face to Face