Two policemen call the police station on the radio.
“Hello. Is that you Sarge?”
“We have a case here. A woman has shot her husband for stepping on the floor she had just mopped clean.”
“Have you arrested the woman?”
“No sir. The floor is still wet.”
I love that story.
Caution is the better part of valor, is it not? Sometimes it makes no sense to rush into a situation.
Today, it seems like all of us are in a rush. We flit around, always in a hurry. We’ve convinced ourselves we can accomplish lots of things. Hence, we cram our schedules.
Consequently, we’re often late for important things (if not for everything). We rush because we can. We’re late because we can get away with it.
That’s especially true where I live. Anytime someone’s late, they have a built-in excuse—traffic. Traffic around here is always horrific. So, the answer to being late is often a simple, “Traffic was backed up.” It almost always works.
Truth be told, that’s usually a lame excuse. We know traffic is bad. All we have to do is leave a few minutes early to make up for it. We can’t, however, because we’re in a rush to do other stuff as well.
Our two policemen friends had to make an arrest. They weren’t in a big hurry to do so. They didn’t rush in. They took their time, and waited for the floor to dry.
“Fools rush in…”
While it’s true they were in danger if they hurried, their example is a good one. There are a lot of hidden dangers lurking in life. We cause ourselves loads of problems by being in a hurry.
“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Like a lot of old sayings, this one has a solid reason for its existence. The two policemen in our story feared to tread on the wet floor. We would do well to slow down a little, take our time, survey the landscape of our lives, and proceed with caution. The old Poor Richard adage also comes to mind here. “Haste makes waste.”
Unfortunately, we have also accumulated lots of opposite bits of wisdom. How about this one? “He who hesitates is lost.” Well, I don’t like being lost (but I hesitate a lot). What are we to do?
Many would tell us to simply use our common sense. However, a wise man may have been right when he said, “Common sense is neither common nor sensical.” Hmmm…
For those of us in the church, there’s a principal that is often helpful when used. It’s called community.
Being surrounded by a gathering of believers gives us a support group in which there exists a common sense of reality. Too many of us fail to use that means of discerning our situation. We’re too private, I guess.
The two officers in our story had each other. One of them by himself may have rushed in. Communal wisdom prevails again.