I’m not going to pretend. Friday morning was rough. It was. I was anxious, hurried and frustrated. I am always a bit out of sorts before a big presentation. I left my house late. Couldn’t find my keys. Upset and behind, I tried to make up time on my commute. Only to be pulled over by a police officer. He gave me a warning and I drove away with a silent prayer followed by a firm admonition. “Thank you! Thank you!” Then, “Shit Lisa, when will you learn?”
Granted, I could offer myself all kids of excuses. I was late. There was no one else on the road. New pavement, dry conditions. It’s a Jaguar, it’s supposed to go fast. However, we are given warnings for a reason, so that we learn and change. This morning, I was tempted to use as much of the horsepower that my cars engine contains, but I remembered the police officer and respected the warning. I want to do better. I want to feel less rushed…more calm. Not to mention the side-benefit of fewer tickets. Good decisions not only feel good, they bring positive results.
Have you been there? Do you feel me? I’m sure that I am not the only one who has to mentally remind our reckless self to take heed. Rather than set ourselves up for consistent success, we let circumstances create reactions, only to clamor for a different result after the fact. We ask for divine intervention in a myriad of ways.
“How am I going to get through this?”
“Why? Why? Why me?”
“If only….I promise…”
“Please God, let me….”
“It will not happen this way again!”
I believe strongly that there is a greater good at work, responding to our requests. We receive our answers in the form of chance meetings, timely interruptions, business offers, invitations, phone calls, relationships beginning or ending. Sometimes they involve gracious officers letting you drive away (duly chastised and grateful).
Why then, do we take that chance to right our course, and reverse it as soon as the sting of our error abates? I was tempted to speed again this morning. I did not, but it was tempting. Our decision-making muscles are much like the ones in our bodies. Movements, exercises are repeated over and over, becoming habit and eventually changing our very anatomy. When we neglect to correct our practice over time, it becomes habitual to make poor choices in spite of the warnings we receive. Eventually, we stop receiving the messages that help keep us on track.
In truth, I still make poor decisions. Less frequently than I did in my 20’s and 30’s. I am human, but I am also eternally grateful to recognize the warnings and lessons that keep me between the lines and heading in direction I have chosen.