Too Much of a Good Thing …

I believe that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. And for every questionable action there is the risk of an equally adverse reaction. It is in this spirit of avoiding undesirable outcomes that I got after my oldest daughter for slicing a hole in the top of her water bottle.

“Why can’t you unscrew the cap like everyone else?” I asked.

“Because it’s easier to drink out of this way,” Katie said as she stabbed the lid again.

“Not if I have to take you to the hospital for stitches,” I warned.

My words fell on deaf ears as Katie twisted the knife to make the hole bigger and then pulled it out to examine her handiwork. I should have been more stern with her but the truth is that I admired my daughter’s determination and understood her action. All of us, at one time or another, have dismissed direction and taken a stab at finding our own solution to a problem. Sometimes it works to our advantage and other times it works us over to the point where we’re so afraid of getting hurt that we refuse to even try.

I want my kids to realize the dreams that God has planted in their hearts, not hide from them.

Too much of a good thing (even avoiding negative consequences) is definitely a bad thing if it holds us back or hinders our progress. And although I intend to keep poking holes in Katie’s water bottle theory until she finds a safer way to quench her thirst for efficiency, I never want her to stop trying to make the world a better place. Instead I want my oldest—and all of us—to take responsible chances and view mistakes, not as road blocks to avoid, but as guard rails to keep us moving in the right direction. Only then will we reach the place where God’s plan meets our productivity as we put a lid on our fear of failure and say goodbye to the status quo.

Put every system to the test until the good is better and the better is best.


Van Problems

Hollie has no idea that we’re locked out of the house, I thought to myself as she happily played with a friend at a local indoor playground.

It all started when someone from the dealership called to say that they would not have my van finished in time for me to pick Hollie up from Kindergarten. Actually, it started a few weeks earlier when the keys were left in the ignition (in the on position) after returning home from a family vacation. The dead battery required a jump start and the jump start shorted out the airbag system. Now—three trips to the dealership later—I was still digging out as I realized that I didn’t have a key to the house and the only garage door opener I had access to was the one that was built into my van.

Who would think that one decision (leaving the keys turned on in the ignition) would create so many challenges? More than that—who would want to? Maybe it’s best to have just enough information to keep moving. Although inch by inch, life’s a cinch—knowing every yard can seem overwhelmingly hard.