More from the PANIC BUTTON genre

What’s that sound coming from my garage? Ah yes, it’s the familiar ‘low battery’ beep of my old cell phone, which SOMEHOW got swept up in the ’27 Things’ effort yesterday and now sits at the bottom of a very large trash bin, in a plastic bag with 26 other unloved items.

Wasn’t I going to donate that thing somewhere?
Well, I absolutely do NOT go through trash. It’s a policy…

Okay, hand me some gloves and my Hazmat suit. I can’t bear to hear a cell phone crying to be fed. I’m going in!
Today is as good a day as any to break with a policy.


foggy paths/example #2

I was surprised by how hard it was for me to write this example! I think there were two reasons. I discovered, as I wrote, that more and more people kept popping to mind. I guess I’ve known and cared about a LOT of people for whom this is true. Also, I found out it’s a hotter topic for me than I realized. I’m not sure if the first thing is true because of the second, or vice versa.

“Aw, it’s just a silly dream. Why should I bother with school at this point in my life?”

Hearing these words, I could almost feel my heart falling to my feet. This dream she had told me about, one she’d said she had for decades and now had the chance to pursue…she’d decided not to do it, and it wasn’t because her desire/interest had disappeared. It was something else. 
I can’t count the number of people I know who talk about wanting to pursue some kind of schooling, and they have opportunity to do it, but get stuck in neutral while straining to see further down the path. It’s foggy down there and they don’t feel right moving in that direction until they can see all the answers to all their questions.
Is it really what I want to do?
Will I be glad I did it?
Will it be worth it?
Will my life improve in some way?
Will I wish I had done something else?
These are questions for which there are never any upfront guarantees. The answers to them can only be known by bringing some faith to the action of stepping out. Or vice versa – some stepping out to the element of faith. Let theologians argue the order, as long as we’ve got both in the mix.

A Nudge to Connect

It was a Monday.

My feet hit the floor running and I had a long to-do list. As I headed out, Jane popped into my thoughts. I don’t know why.

Preoccupied with my list, I pressed forward. As I went from one appointed stop to another, thoughts of Jane kept returning.

Maybe I should call her, I thought.

Not today, though. Too much to do.

Midday, when I circled back home to deposit a trunkload of groceries, there she was again on my mind.

Maybe I should give her a quick ring while I’m home? I wondered.


Still too much to do today. I don’t want to get side-tracked.

What if the quick ring turns out not to be ‘quick’?

We aren’t that close.

If I call for no reasons except she was on my mind she’ll think it’s strange.

Besides, by now she’s probably into her day and I’d be interrupting for no reason.

After that, thoughts of Jane gradually dwindled.

Later that week, on Thursday, I was in town and bumped into Jane. After the usual “How are you?” and “Fine, and you?” I told her she’d been on my mind lately and that I’d almost called her.

“I wish you had,” she said, and went on to tell of a difficult situation with her son, one that came to a head the previous weekend.

“I’m so sorry to hear that.”

“I tell you, Marilyn, I cried all day Monday.”

Make of it what you will. As for me, ever since that day, I’m more prone to pick up the phone and make the call. Not that my call would have kept her from crying, but maybe it would have kept her from feeling all alone while she was doing it.

So far, following through on persistent nudges like that has never turned out to be the wrong thing to do.