We all have done something STUPID in our lives. I have. It can be that we haven’t thought through a situation, it can be that our emotions or thinking processes have been compromised due to drugs or alcohol or it can be we are influenced by others to participate in an unwise activity. Regardless, looming consequences for our actions may be just around the corner. But, even after our “s_ _ _ _ d” actions, we can turn to God, trust Him, and depend on Him to see us through.
I don’t like to use the word s_ _ _ _d, but in the case below, there is no other synonym that fits! Merriam-Webster’s thesaurus uses other words like airheaded, birdbrained, dim-witted, empty-headed, half-witted, and more, but honestly, sometimes s_ _ _ _ d is the only word that works. But so as not to offend anyone, I will substitute the word half-witted in this blog.
In the January 12, 2016 edition, USA TODAY posted an article about an Ohio fugitive who texted a photo of himself to the police to use after seeing a mugshot they posted he found unflattering.
“Here’s a better photo that one is terrible,” Donald “Chip” Pugh, 45 said in the text. He attached a selfie with him wearing a blazer and gold-rimmed sunglasses sitting in a car.
The police have a warrant out for him and his new photo is now posted on the police department’s Facebook page.
I don’t know about you, but I would call that half-witted. As for me, every so often I have been known to do something half-witted too.
One Thursday, this past December, I was scrambling to get to Cheddar’s Restaurant to meet Dee for our annual Christmas gift exchange luncheon. Unfortunately, I got carried away with time causing me to leave home later than I anticipated. I deplore being late — even a little late. So, I reached for my cell phone to call Dee to notify her that I would late but realized in my rush to leave the house, I also left my cell phone at home. Not being able to call her made me doubly anxious about being late.
As I drove up to Cheddar’s, I absent-mindedly drove right passed the restaurant’s one and only entrance. To remedy the situation, I would have had to drive all the way down the service road to the next exit; make a U-turn and go under the freeway; drive all the way down to the correct exit; make a U-turn under the freeway; quickly veer to the right; and pray I didn’t miss the entrance the second time around. However, I decided not to do that. I turned quickly into the Olive Garden restaurant that was next to Cheddar’s. I pulled into a parking space that faced Cheddar’s. While I originally thought I could just walk over to Cheddar’s, there was a problem — a major problem! Between the two restaurants was a great big, deep overgrown drainage ditch that sloped at least 15 feet down.
No problem, I thought. Confident I could handle crossing the ditch; I took the plunge with my purse and a Christmas gift bag in tow and began my adventure down the ditch. I must admit, I was a little nervous as the grass became thicker and taller on my way down. I thought of withering snakes making contact with my feet in the grass, but I was too far down to turn back.
When I became closer to the center of the ditch, I felt a swampy wet sensation on my feet. Yes, I was wearing “my favorite, black, wedge-heeled flip-flop fastened to my foot by only a small strap”. And, before I knew it, when I was at the bottom of the ditch, my right foot slipped into muddy “quicksand” and I was being sucked in. Within seconds, my right leg became entrapped all the way to my thigh by swampy, murky mud. I knew that I was in trouble and it would be awfully dangerous and hard to escape if I didn’t act quickly. I fell to the left, quickly dragging my right leg out of the muddy, putrid water and pulled myself to a wobbly standing position. My right flip-flop was entrapped in the murky sludge over three feet down; I looked back, like Lot’s wife, and saw my left flip-flop a few feet away. Scared to retrieve the left flip-flop, I ran up the other side of the drainage ditch like a mad woman.
Miraculously, at the top of the ditch, I pulled myself together and proceeded to walk into Cheddar’s, barefoot and all. As soon as I arrived, I saw Dee. After sharing the short version of what just happened, we checked in at the reception desk and the host brought us to our table. I hoped no one would see my soaking wet bare feet and my muddy jeans and ask me to leave. If anyone saw them, they didn’t say anything. From the waist down, I was freezing. It didn’t help that the restaurant’s AC was in full force right on our table either.
God works in mysterious ways! Dee happened to have a few bags of clothes in her car that she was going to drop off at the recycling center after our lunch, so she went to fetch them for me. I felt like the poor Samaritan who was being helped by the kind-hearted person passing by. I took a few pairs of socks, a pair of overalls 6 sizes smaller than I am, and a sweatshirt. I proceeded to the restroom to change. I had to walk all the way to the other side of the restaurant, pass by a ton of waiters and waitresses, just to get to the restroom where I could change. Mind you, no one mentioned my condition or bare feet or my smell. I was fortunate — I was able to put the tight overalls up to my waist when I unbuttoned all the buttons; I let the bib and straps hang down, and I put the sweatshirt over me.
Then, Dee and I had a lovely Christmas lunch!
The Secular Moral of this Story
Sixty-one-year-old females should never run down a 15-foot drainage ditch without expecting some kind of trouble. It’s just plain half-witted.
In my secular story, I was lucky — all I lost was “my favorite, black, wedge-heeled flip-flop fastened to my foot by only a small strap.”
But, when dealing in the spiritual realm, sometimes the consequences of our actions can be a lot more catastrophic.
The Spiritual Moral of this Story: Dealing with Consequences
If an individual decides to wander away from the right path, they might lose their virginity, their reputation, their license, their family, and/or more. But, as believers sometimes we do mess up. Temptations will always be upon us and our choices lead to consequences. However, there are some things we should all understand when we have done something half-wittingly.
We need to understand that . . .
- God isn’t surprised when we do something unwise or sin.
- If we sin, God will forgive us.
- There are consequences to our actions.
- God is compassionate.
- We need to trust the Lord when we mess up.
- God will help us out of our difficult situations, but we must let Him.
- God knows we can make a bigger mess of our lives if we don’t let Him help us.
- God knows why we do what we do or did what we did. He understands our poor judgment.
- God sees the big picture of our lives.
- God can use our mess-ups to develop our character.
- God wants us to learn from our mistakes and become closer to Him by depending on Him for everything.
- The Bible advises us to obtain wise counsel from people who can help us.
And please, whatever you do, try not to lose more than a pair of shoes like I did. It’s NOT worth it!
God bless you.
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:10
Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to always honor you in all I do. I can try on my own to be a good person, but I find myself failing so often. Teach me to think like you. Help me to behave like you Jesus. I need your wisdom and your mind to be all you want me to be. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.