Yesterday I wandered out to the shop for a little sawdust time. I naturally reached for my safety glasses, initially for the reason that they have reading lenses in them. Something about the ease of putting a plug together trumped any particular concern about safety. As a young friend walked it, he asked where he could find a pair of safety glasses. I was struck by the fact that what was optional for me was natural for him. His disciplined approach, at least with this one item, reflects a consistency that is often missing in my life.
It is easy to let the inconsistencies in our lives go unchecked. In the shop, I remind others about safety while doing things I know are not safe. In life, there is a natural tendency to be critical to another about the very things we say we hold in high esteem. It plays out when destinations take precedence over the steps we used to get from A to B. You can see it in the language used when we are stressed or frustrated. Contradictions can be found anywhere one is willing to look.
Writers have captured the criticism of our contradictions across the generations. One comment on the subject used two metaphors to illustrate the point. “Any man who speaks with God or about God in a way that shows a lack of respect for the authority of Christ, dishonors Christ. In the same way, a wife who speaks with God in a way that shows a lack of respect for the authority of her husband, dishonors her husband.” (1 Corinthians 11.5, 6)
The good news was found yesterday in the simple way a friend modeled discipline. Twice I was tempted to abandon my safety glasses in the name of comfort. Each time I thought of his opening reach. In that spirit, I wiped my glasses, adjusted the fit, and carried on with them in place. It was a moment I hope can be replicated across my life. It worked yesterday. Today is a fresh story. Each day is.