I freely admit that there are straws in my life. Straws are somethings so small that most of the time most people simply ignore them. They can be annoyances but not explosions. They can be frustrating but not rage. They can be forgiven and forgotten not harbored and nurtured. Straws are both extremes. Depending on the time, place, and context, straws often mark major turning points in life journeys.
Early in the morning, when I have plenty of rest and others lack the same, it is easy to spot straws on the subway. One can see the different with the contrast of those immediately around the action on display. Kids being kids early in the morning is seen in context by veteran mothers and fathers. The same behavior drives the tired, stress, and overwhelmed parent right to a dangerous edge. An accidental touch or bump between crowded straphangers happens with an immediate apology instead of a confrontation. Spills and messes find helping hands instead of deafening silence and mind numbing stares.
In a casual, relaxed, and rested state, it is easy to minimize and excuse straws. In context, they were not that bad, intentional, or malicious. Yet they are indicative, especially if they continue over time. Proverbs of all cultures remind us of the single step becoming a journey. The end is also true, journeys end on a single step. Straws are often that step. The question I find myself grabbling with as a new day emerges from the darkness is this; have I excused my actions for so long that I am ignorant of my own journey?
An old observation plays out in my life; “you didn't even do the minimum—so stingy with me, so closefisted. Yet you haven't been stingy with your sins. You've been plenty generous with them—and I'm fed up.” (Isaiah 43.24) Each step, choice, and action appeared to be inconsequential, but they do tell a story.
I know today’s story is not determined by yesterday actions. I can use yesterday’s straws to make fresh, new, and God centric choices.
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