As I’m sitting here in my comfy recliner, I can look out our sliding glass door and see the laundry hanging on the line.  It is so reminiscent of seeing my mom hang clothes out on the line.  Back when I was a little girl stains were very hard to get out of our clothes.  Some were impossible – like mustard, berries, ink.  My mom worked very hard to make sure our clothes were always fresh, clean, and stains removed. Today, however, we can get most stains out of our clothes without too much effort most of the time – praise the Lord because I can be quite messy sometimes!

That led me to thinking about our lives and when we stray from doing the right thing.  I think most of us don’t really intend to stray, it just starts out as a little wavering here and there.  If we realize soon enough, we can get back on track and all is good.  Like accidentally spilling a little juice or something on our clothes.  If we catch it quick enough and take care of it then it won’t stain and will be alright.  However, if we stay too long on that wavered track and get too comfortable then it’s hard to get back on track.  Not impossible but hard.  Again, if we just leave that juice on our clothes and want to wait a bit before trying to remove it (like playing instead of coming in right away) then it becomes harder to remove – not always impossible but we have to scrub harder and hope it comes out.  Let’s go a step further and say we get real full of ourselves and think we’re just going to do what we want to do no matter if it’s right or wrong, no matter if it hurts anybody or not, it’s our lives and we’re going to do what we want to do.  Yea.  You leave that juice on the clothes and just remove your clothes later and throw them in the laundry basket to be washed later, that stain won’t come out.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that our lives are really not our own.  What we do, say, and how we act affects those around us each and every day.  When we do things and don’t care how it affects others, well, that’s just selfish no matter how you slice it.  You can try and tell yourself it’s not selfish but you’re just fooling yourself because look at it – who are you trying to please first?  You can fool yourself and tell yourself into thinking you are helping others but you are actually just doing what you want to do, which I think is pretty much what most people do.  You can make all kinds of excuses but mostly people do what they want to do.

I’ve heard it said that you always hurt most the ones you love the most.  We tend to “follow the crowd” or try to please friends and acquaintances more than those we love, or those we have vowed to love, when it should be the other way around.  Those friends or acquaintances seem to have more influence on us than the ones who really love and care for us which makes no sense at all.  After all, what do they really have to lose?  Should we trust them the most?  Don’t get me wrong, friends are wonderful and we all like to have them.  But who is it that should come first in our hearts and lives?  Who should we think of first?  Who should we care for the most?  Who is it that should share in our burdens and cares?  Who is it that we want to trust us the most?    I believe the answer to those questions is pretty obvious – those we love the most.  I guess it all boils down to the question if we want to get that stain out quickly or we just don’t care – that piece of clothing is just not as precious as we thought it was.  I wonder if that is how those who are hurt feel – like a piece of clothing that was once precious but now is just a stained piece of clothing in the laundry basket, not important enough to take care of like it once was.

Are you one that trusts and looks to others or are you the piece of clothing that has been tossed aside?  I hope neither.

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