September 2, 2011

an ounce of prevention ....

.... is worth a pound of cure.  Right?

So I put rugs down by every major entrance into the farmhouse to catch the dirt as it comes in on our feet - before it gets to the carpets.  We walk shoeless inside and my Farmer brushes weedbits off his clothes after he's been taming the wilds with the string-trimmer.  We rinse each meal's dishes before stacking them so the food doesn't dry on.  Train the children from the first whine to use a nice voice.  Keep flora and fauna out of the baby's mouth in case of mysteriously transmitted feline diseases.  No waving sticks around in case you hit someone.  Wash your hands before meals.

Strict bedtimes avoid meltdowns.  Ration sweets for healthy teeth.  No running in the house.  Censor books to build good taste in literature.  Dose with elderberry when flu rumors start to fly.  Ginger before a road trip prevents motion headaches.

Budget strictly to avoid financial tension.  "Tell your money where to go."  Wait to launch the home business until the plan is detailed out on paper.  Dream big but start small.

Trust God, but have a backup plan.

Wait a minute.  Back up.  Somewhere in the continuum something valuable has been lost.  "Prevention" turns so quickly into "fear" and "control."

"An ounce of prevention..." but also "nothing ventured, nothing gained."

And how about that more important Proverb by far:  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths."  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Reminders of truth come in the unlikeliest of places.  Last night I laughed through "The Princess Diaries" and watched a 15-year-old learn a lesson I lack.  To quote her father, Eduard Christoff Philippe Gerard Renaldi, Crown Prince of Genovia, "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear.  The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all."  (part of this quote may have better-known origins, either Albert Einstein or Mark Twain; sources disagree)

It's one thing to "look before you leap" - it's a very sad, entirely different thing to never leap at all.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

[And that, my dear readers, is my string of platitudes for the day.  Truth lives even in the trite.]


(follow-up posts here and here)

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