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  • A Musing Pastor

Pride Goes Before a Spill

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18, NIV)


My heart argues with my brain only every day. My heart says, "Let's tackle something we've never attempted before." My brain counters with, "Maybe we should research this or let someone more qualified handle this, or accept help from someone who has offered. Psssh! My heart usually wins the argument and I plow forward. Some days, the task is completed just fine, some days the task is done not slow and not fast but half fast, and some days the task turns into a nightmare.

The other day, Tracie and I were visiting her parents in Clearfield County, we then went to the "place that knows hardware" (Think big hardware store). We purchased the following:

1. 10 - 4x4x12 treated (wet and about 60# per piece)

2. 9 - 80# bags of Sakrete

3. 1 - 5 gallon bucket of roof tar (roughly 40#)

4. 1 30# container of 1 and 3/4 inch roofing nails

In total, I would guesstimate the cart was burdened with about 1400 pounds not including the empty cart weight. Tracie asked at least two times, "should we get another cart and split this load." I guffawed, "Nah, I got it!" She shrugged her shoulders and did the Ephesians wife thing and deferred to me even though she knew I was most likely biting off more than I could chew. Apparently, she had seen this before......

We approached the counter and the pushing was strenuous. Sweat was drenching my shirt and my mask. The associate was cordial and commented the amount of material on the cart. (Thank goodness the cart builder factored in some dufus overloading the thing and built it to withstand this load) [Note: dufus is Hebrew for idiot]

The sale was accomplished and the associate, Annette, motioned to another associate, John, and said, "Would you like to have John help you load this?" I, not wanting to look inadequate said, "No, I am good." That statement would later rise up and stare me in the face and LOL.

Annette said, "Pull your truck underneath the loading area and transfer the materials." I responded, "Yep, we'll do that." Tracie walked to the truck and began to drive toward the loading area while I boldly (slowly and with great effort) pushed the cart forward. The associate gently reached out and repositioned the container of nails as I passed and then the descent down the grade began. The last thing Annette said was, "Be careful of the slight grade going down to the loading area." In my mind I had already dismissed her words as unnecessary and a little too 'nervous nelly' like....

Did I mention the 4x4 treated were wet? Thought so. The cart teetered for a moment and dropped gently down the slope. The container of nails shifted and began to slide on the wet lumber. As the container plummeted to the concrete, I thought, "Ok, I'll have to stop and pick up the fallen container." The container hit the concrete, the lid popped off, and about 15# of 1 and 3/4 inch roofing nails scattered all over the loading area. (Insert frowny face here)

Tracie, now beginning the turn into the loading area came to a stop. I walked around the cart muttering as I went and looked into the store looking for someone to help with the clean-up. Annette and John saw the debacle unfold and came running. Annette with broom and dustpan in hand had the nails cleaned up before I could figure out what I had done wrong. She said, "I have seen this before and we'll have you going in no time."

First off, there is nothing wrong with an independent spirit. It has served me well throughout 60 years. Second off, common sense is the better part of valor. That being said, when Annette for the second time offered associate John to help us load the materials, I said, Yes!).

Long story short, the lessons learned the other day reminded me of Proverbs 16:18 and how easy it is to become so cocksure. Pride really does go forward just before a fall. On a good day, I weigh about 155 soaking wet and the cart was about 9 times my weight. A smart person would have listened to their spouse and had two carts. A smart person would have heeded Annette's assistance offer the first time. A smart person would have nothing to blog about after the fact. As is always the case, the sales receipt had a website I could use to give feedback on my experience at their store. I utilized this site to acknowledge the two associates who went above and beyond the call to help a customer who bit off more than he could chew and they both did it with professional grace and poise. Thanks Annette and John. Thanks Tracie for continuing to respect me even when it is clear I have lost touch with humility and common sense.

"A Musing Pastor"

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First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com