As my grandchildren often remind me, I am not a good backer-upper. I proved this last summer when I backed over a decorative pot at the edge of our driveway.
Last night my husband said, “The way your car is parked, you could easily back over the pots by the driveway again.”
“I promise you I will not hit those pots,” I said, heading out the front door.
“You’re going to move the pots, aren’t you?” he asked.
“You bet I am,” I said.
Sometimes it is safer to remove an obstacle than try to avoid it.
A friend of mine, a very responsible Christian man, began visiting a gambling casino. At first, he wagered only small sums of money, but the habit grew on him. Eventually he realized he had a big problem.
He tried taking less money with him to the casino and tried limiting himself to staying only one hour at each visit. But he easily overcame those restrictions and continued betting as heartily as before.
Finally, he went to the casino manager’s office and asked to have himself restricted from entering the casino. Security team members would thereafter remove him from the premises if he came through the door.
Figuratively, he moved the pots.
Another friend obtained a high interest rate credit card. She planned to use the card only occasionally and to keep the amount she charged on it low.
Gradually, however, she bought several items of expensive clothing and jewelry and charged those purchases to the card.
When she realized she had run up a large debt, she determined to use willpower to pay off the credit card debt and stop charging purchases on the card. She failed.
Finally, she cut up the card, and as soon as her debt was paid, she closed her account.
This woman also, in a manner of speaking, moved the pots.
Sometimes we have too much confidence in ourselves. If I am careful and diligent, I can avoid those pots, get control of my gambling, or change my expensive buying habits.
It is important to know when we can trust ourselves and when we cannot.
Life usually teaches us this lesson by allowing us to fail a few times.
A married woman wishes she had changed jobs when she realized she was sexually attracted to a coworker. She did change jobs later, after the affair, and after the damage had been done.
A teacher wishes he had stopped eating lunch in the staff lounge when he realized it was a hotbed of gossip. He did stop eating there after another teacher, tainted by baseless rumors, lost her job.
A former heavy drinker wishes he had avoided restaurants that served alcohol. He did avoid those restaurants after receiving a DUI conviction and having his driver’s license suspended.
The decorative pots beside our driveway are inexpensive and easily replaced. But marriages, sobriety, integrity, financial stability and the like deserve protection at any cost.
If you suspect you are heading for a collision that could destroy one of those treasures, don’t trust too much in your own ability to avoid it. Move the pots.
These look much prettier in the spring with flowers in them.