At about 4 AM this morning I was startled by a loud crash. I jumped out of bed and rushed to the living room to see what happened. I don’t know why I ran to that room—I wasn’t sure where the sound came from—but when your adrenaline is pumping you go somewhere. Fast.
So, I was standing in the dark trying to get my bearings and attempting to figure out what happened. That’s when I noticed that the back door was wide open! It’s raining outside (now inside too), and the wind is howling through my kitchen.
At first, I assumed the loud bang came from the door hitting the wall, but my next thought was that someone had broken into our home!
That gave me a bigger rush of adrenaline and sent me into total fight mode. For some reason, I grabbed a wooden coaster (you know, those things you put on the coffee table for cups). It didn’t make sense then or now, but I guess I thought I could use it as a weapon like a Ninja might.
Then, in a panic, I bolted from room to room searching for the evil (and not-so-quiet) thief who breached my castle. Nothing. No one. Hmmm. He must have come and gone.
Did I mention that I’m doing all of this in my boxers, barefoot, and that my wife slept through the entire ordeal? Frankly, the fact that she was sound asleep bothered me. What if I encountered an ax murderer who robbed us of everything, and she didn’t find me until morning? That will teach her to wear earplugs to bed.
It turns out, the door flew open because it wasn’t latched, and the storm was the only thief who entered my home. Later, when I went to take a shower, I also discovered the true source of the loud bang. My shower shaving mirror in the master bathroom had come unstuck and fallen to the shower floor. Apparently, they don’t make suction cups like they used to.
As you can imagine, I’m tired. Really tired. And I’m frustrated too. But here are a couple of things I learned:
1. Sometimes things go “bang” when you least expect it, but it’s probably not as bad as you think.
Sure, it could be serious, but more often than not it’s not. Why do we so easily and so quickly jump to the worst-case scenario?
Maybe you’re an eternal optimist, and I’m happy for you, but many of us start running around like Chicken Little (who was at least fully feathered), rather than stopping to properly and rationally assess the situation.
The bang isn’t always a bad as we believe. Stop. Think. Maybe even pray before you grab a wooden coaster in a panic and go Ninja on someone.
2. Some “bangs” are avoidable.
I’m sometimes a slow learner. My shower mirror has a history of falling. It’s never happened at 4 AM before, but it’s happened often. Knowing this, a wiser man would expect it to happen again and not leave it up on the shower wall.
Years ago, I used to experience a “January Financial Bang” because I didn’t budget for Christmas and went into debt to buy gifts.
I have a dear friend who discovered that her car runs much better with oil in the engine. She could have avoided the blown-engine-bang by maintaining her vehicle better.
I could go on, but you get my point.
So, what are you ignoring or forgetting that requires your attention if you want to avoid a loud crash?
How’s your marriage? Does it need a tune-up?
How’s your health? Do you need to exercise more and eat less?
How’s your leadership? Are you growing, stuck, or worse yet, headed for a crash?
How’s your relationship with God? Are you investing time with Him in worship, in the Word, and in prayer so that you won’t suffer a spiritual crash?
I know. You can’t always avoid the bangs. Life happens. But there are probably a few things you can do better. And year-end is always a good time to do a heart-check and some honest self-assessment.
Trust me; it’s better to be wise than to end up reacting to something avoidable.