Watch Your Words
3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
To speak rashly means to speak without careful consideration of the possible consequences. Yesterday, there was a situation in my home that, to say the least, really irritated me.
Several months ago I purchased a house for my son and I. Since then, nearly every day or at least a few hours of each day have been spent working on and fixing the home up. Sometimes things go well, most often each step I have taken has been countered with two to three steps back. It has become a VERY frustrating theme. It truly has taken a toll on my mental state. I live in a constant state of frustration. When I step away from the project for a few days and try to relax, all the uncompleted work begins to pile up in my mind. To be honest, while I am truly grateful for this home and I love It very much, there have been many times that I feel as though I have bitten off more that I wanted to chew. Not more than I can chew, just more than I wanted or expected. Every now and then I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. In those brief moments, I find myself decorating or creating items to decorate our home. Each time I add something new to the wall or put something on a shelf it brings with it a sense of completion and a feeling that we are finally home.
Several weeks ago I finally got around to editing and printing a poster of German airplane that was used in WWII. The model of the plane shares my last name (Messerschmitt). Though I am not related to its creator, I had a silly idea that I wanted to fill my house only with items that had meaning to me. For many reasons this picture, a blue print sketch of the original design, found its way into my head as something that would be a fun conversation starter. After-all, since I was a kid, nearly each time someone learns my last name they ask me if I’m any relation to the creator of the Messerschmitt airplane.
A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon searching for the perfect frame, then editing, and printing the poster. I bought the materials home and put the masterpiece together. Feeling proud of my creation, I quickly walked it to my living room and held it to the wall. Immediately I knew that it didn’t fit, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Not to be discouraged, I placed it in my hallway where I left it hang for all of 20 minutes before removing it and placing it in my basement where I would “get back to it” at a later date.
Great story Kevin, but how in the world does a picture of a Messerschmitt airplane have anything to do with today’s verse? I’m glad you asked! Today I have chosen to “live” and write about Proverbs 13: Verse 3. “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” Are you confused yet? Good, then you might just stay with me to the end!
Over the course of the last few years, frustrations with myself, my career and my relationships have had a tendency creep out at inopportune moments with those closet to me, namely my son. If you are a parent, I am sure you can sympathize with me when I say that having a son who is more concerned about motocross, biking, video games, snap chat streaks, and hanging out with friends than he is helping Dad fix up the new house can be a little bit frustrating. Especially when you ask, almost beg for help! Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a very thoughtful, considerate, well-mannered kid. I am EXTREMELY proud of him and love him VERY much but there are times that he makes me soooo frustrated, and the last several days have been no exception.
It seems as though one request after another falls on def ears. It’s like he only hears what he wants to hear. Ethan, please clean out your drawers and box all the things you want to store or no longer need, turns into: clean out your drawers, find anything you think is cool, play with it and put the junk on the ground back in the drawer so Dad thinks I finished. Pick up the glass you broke in the basement turns into: pick up the glass and put it right back down in a pile on the floor next to where it broke. Or my favorite, pick up the dog poop turns into wash my friends socks after he inadvertently steps in the dog poop but leave said poop on the floor for the next person to step in it!
The problem that I have is that these frustrations begin to build until something, even as basic as lost socks for the trampoline park, sets me off! When the fuse is lite, there is no stopping it! And heck, since I’ve already exploded, I might as well double down and make the explosion worthwhile by finding more things to fuel my fire! To Ethan’s credit, for the most part he takes it but not without a little push back. Lately he has become a little more brave in his attempts to push back which really doesn’t help the situation, at all!
Yesterday, after driving him to a friend’s house, then back to our house because he forgot his season pass for the ski hill (don’t even get me started on that one), then to a different friend’s house to pick up his snowboard that he left there the last time he boarded, then finally back to the original friend so he could catch a ride to the ski hill, I walked in the basement to find that the glass on my Messerschmitt airplane poster had been broken. (Yes, that is a run on sentence, hopefully you were able to feel my frustration!)
Frustrated, I quickly sent him a text to ask what happened. He told me that it happened a couple days prior and that he was afraid to tell me because he didn’t know how I would react. He went on to let me know that he asked a mutual (adult) friend of ours what he should do and was given the advice to “not tell me right now.” In typical Ethan fashion, “not tell me right now” was understood as “not tell me for a long time.”
What angered, or I think the better word here would be hurt, me most wasn’t that he and our mutual friend both decided to keep the secret from me. I had talked to both of them at length since the occurrence and neither of them mentioned it to me. Not wanting to say something that I would regret, I did something that most in my life have never witnessed, I went silent. Not a word. I picked Ethan up after snowboarding and we drove home in silence. When we returned home, I just went to bed.
When I woke up this morning, I opened my Bible ap, turned to Proverbs 13, and, like usual, the message God intended for me jumped off the page. Verse 3: Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. God used the events of the last few days to teach me a lesson. He wanted me to see that it is important for me to keep my calm and choose my words wisely during times of stress, especially with my son, so that when something REALLY important, dangerous, scary or uncomfortable comes along, he won’t be afraid to come to me over fear of how I will react. Lesson learned. I’ll be working on that:)
Have a great day!
PS- To our mutual adult friend. As you can read, I learned my lesson. However, that doesn’t let you off the hook for keeping said secret 😉