My daughter is at home with me today. Our puppy, Gizmo, can hardly contain his excitement. He keeps pouncing on her and nipping at her, in his playful puppy way.
As usual, she enjoys it for a short time before erupting into dramatic complaints and tears about how he’s “bothering her” and “won’t leave her alone”.
So, I go through the ritual of calming him down and distracting him with a toy. Soon, he is quietly chewing away at my feet, my daughter no longer on his mind.
Peace, at last.
Until…she takes the toy from him.
And he pounces on her again.
And she complains and cries out…again.
And I am left staring at her, in disbelief.
You did this to yourself, my child.
I can’t help but wonder why she would do this thing and put herself straight back into an uncomfortable situation that she had already moved past?
And then it hit me—we all do this. I think in this instance, like so many, she gave into the temptation of the temporary “fix”. She wanted the puppy fun, but let herself ignore the fact that with that puppy fun would come Gizmo’s little sharp teeth–the real reason she wanted to abandon the play.
How often do I eat what I want, to get that temporary high of the good taste, only to be let down by not losing the weight I had hoped?
How often have I decided to skip church, making excuses, only to feel spiritually dehydrated all week?
How often do I push myself physically, not wanting to feel so disabled, only to end up in bed for days for overdoing it?
I venture to say that we all get stuck in our unhealthy decision patterns. I think we need to be honest with ourselves and recognize that when we do (or don’t do) certain things, there will be repercussions. Maybe big, maybe small, but we know this going in. Life is so much about choices.
My personal goal is to think about the repercussions before I act, instead of giving in to the “fix”. A lot of times the easiest, most comfortable, or most convenient choice is not the best choice.
As I finish this, my daughter is throwing the ball for Gizmo. They’re happily playing a game of fetch. The ball is taking the teeth, and she is getting the puppy fun. Definitely something to think about.