Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Coffee Spot

8:30 a.m. and I'm settling into my morning routine. Laptop is fired up, sorting through emails, social media opened in separate browsers. A bakery-fresh blueberry muffin accompanies my tall mug of dark roast with chocolate caramel creamer. And then it happens. From the lip of my cup a single drop of coffee takes the nearly two-foot plunge to my lap. It was a perfect splatter of brown coffee about a centimeter in diameter now marking my freshly-washed sand-colored linen pants.

Not wanting to walk around with a coffee spot all day, I quickly dabbed a napkin with water and started to scrub. I was too focused on removing the coffee spot to realize the paper napkin bore a logo in green ink that was now becoming a part of my attire. The small coffee spot was now successfully mixed with green ink in an even bigger circle on my once-clean pants.

I was certain people were staring straight at the spot as I made the long trek to the bathroom. We are energy-efficient with automatic everything which means no paper towels. I tried to flag the sensor on the sink with one hand while cupping water with the other to splash on my pant-leg. I did my best to rub out the coffee and green-ink spot but I was now left with a 5 inch water spot on a lightly colored pant.

I made my way to the automatic hand dryer and did my best to hold myself up on one leg, nearly losing my balance twice, while propping up the other in a semi-awkward angle trying to dry my pants leg. They were efficient to dry hands - not pants. I looked in the mirror to catch a glimpse of what passersby would now see of my appearance and I just had to laugh at myself. How did a small spot of coffee turn into such a huge mess?!

This is so typical of me. What starts out as a little tiny issue, combined with my OCD tendencies and the "work" of my own hands, can spread into an unavoidable disaster.

I am biting off more than I can chew and taking my life in my own hands. Job 13:14

How often do I bite off more than I can chew - things that aren't even my responsibility or business and I get involved? How often do I take my life in my own hands - issues and circumstances that I am determined to resolve on my own? By my own hands, I can turn a barely noticeable spot into a mess no one would miss. When will I learn?!

How about you? Maybe in your best attempt to "fix" the problem, you've somehow created an even bigger mess. With what seems like good intentions can often produce disasterous results. I know. I've been there. The spot on my pants is a reminder that by my own hands I can't "fix" everything.

I can't prevent problems from splattering and staining me, but I can prevent my own hands creating an even bigger mess. I have the coffee spot to prove it!

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