There’s a star hanging on the side of a house on my mail route that I pass everyday, that has been crooked for as long as I can remember. And even though my ‘remember’ isn’t as good as it used to be, we are talking years, here.
As I pass by it everyday, I sit at a stop sign, waiting on traffic to clear, I contemplate what it would take for me to go across the street, up the driveway, and where to park my Jeep so I could climb up on it and straighten that puppy up.
But then I realize I’d probably fall off my Jeep, break my hip, and the thing would swing back into it’s crooked state, mocking me, and I would be out of a job and incapacitated for life. So I endure it and try to learn a lesson from it, a lesson which has varied as time has passed.
Here are some of the lessons I have learned from this crooked star:
1.) Sometimes there are things in life that are out of kilter and may never get straightened out, but there is a reason for it, and accept it and move on. Sure, it causes you pain every time you look at it, but most things in this world are out of whack and if you can’t move on, you’ll be no use to anyone as you sit frozen in your denial.
2.) You can’t fix things for other people. If they can drive up their driveway everyday and not be bothered by their crooked star, they wouldn’t appreciate you straightening it anyway!
3.) Think things through before you act/speak. Acting/speaking on impulse can cost you plenty. Who among us hasn’t let slip something stupid from our lips and died a thousand deaths as soon as we realized what we just said? As a woman who has had 3 babies weighing over 10 pounds, you would think I would know a pregnancy belly from a fat belly – but NO! I still cringe when I recall telling a girl that she looked ‘great’ with child, only to have her look embarrassed and disappear around a corner to escape me.
My Aunt, a pastor’s wife, (of whom it is said that I am her clone) told me of a party at her home where the young, pregnant mother of several kids said, “My husband says I seem to get pregnant at the drop of a hat!” to which my aunt audibly mumbled, “. . . not to mention his pants”. So much for ministry protocol.
Before you speak, hear the impact of what you are about to say as if you were on the receiving end, and make it pleasant and not accusing or belligerent. I find that people are not aware of how they come across to others and didn’t mean to sound ‘that way’. Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden Pond spoke of our conversations with one another and I have always tried to remember this particular quote: “The bullet of your thought must have overcome its lateral and ricochet motion and fallen into its last and steady course before it reaches the ear of the hearer, else it may plow out again through the side of his head.”
So, I refuse to waste time plotting about how to straighten that star that mocks me every day. I just look at it as a timely lesson and think of how I should be straightening my own star.
My crooked star could be driving someone else insane.