Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Caught in the act. . .almost

The tinny little beeps from my watch awakened me well before I was ready to get up. But get up I did. It was Tuesday morning and I had an appointment with a sadistic fitness leader and her 5:45 a.m. core class. In some odd way, I looked forward to it. I jumped into the clothes I laid out the night before (can't rely on my brain that early in the morning) and quiet as a mouse, tiptoed into the kitchen to find some breakfast. Turns out, I really didn't have to be that quiet.

As I went to open the cereal cupboard, I heard a raucous from within. It sounded like a herd, gaggle, yea, even a pack of wild mice having a heyday. I heard them on the top shelf, then the second, crinkling the bag of a cereal package. Since my presence didn't seem to bother them, I decided to look elsewhere for breakfast. Note to self: break out the mouse traps when I return from my workout.

Upon returning and with disinfectant in hand, I warily opened the doors to undertake the inevitable and necessary purge of moose poo. No, make that mouse poo. Whew! Anyway, what I discovered was an all-out assault on my food. That mouse had chewed a hole into the snap-on plastic lid of a large hot chocolate container and climbed into the depths to feast. Then he chewed his way into my beloved frosted shredded wheat cereal. The top shelf was completely covered with doo-doo, the other levels having lesser but still significant levels of yuck. Everything came out and surfaces were scrubbed clean. The cupboard is usable once again and the traps stand ready to snap down on the next marauding mouse who dares ravage my food.

I got to thinking about this whole scenario. How did I know what was going on under the cover of darkness and behind closed doors? Sure, I suspected foul play when I heard scurrying in the cupboard. But the dead giveaway were the signs left behind; the tiny brown pellets and shredded wrappings. Did I have to actually see the mouse to know that he was up to no good? What if I ignored the signs? Would you want to pull a glass from the first shelf and raise it to your lips? Probably not.

But don't we often ignore sure signs of foul play? We figure that if we don't actually get caught, all is well. But nay, not so. The filth of a life lived in secret contaminates everything. Unfortunately, a simple cleaning will only tidy up the symptoms for awhile. If we don't kill, exterminate, totally eradicate the real problem, we only fool ourselves.

Let's be honest. We don't all hide "big" problems like drunkenness, illicit drug use, or adultery. But I bet we might be guilty of trying to hide selfishness, covetousness, laziness, and pride. Our mouths become weapons. Some pens and paper may wander from our cubicle and end up at home because "they" won't miss such small things.We might shade the truth, be dishonest on our taxes, or even cheat our employer of full attention and time.

We must be careful. Our misconduct (or, in politically incorrect terms, sin), no matter how big or small, leaves a stinky residue behind that gives us away. There is no mistaking it. Though the trap may not have snapped yet, it will, sooner or later.  Let's not be afraid to come out from behind cupboard doors and clean up our act. Then we can say with King David, "Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin...Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 17:3,139:23,24).

9 comments:

Rick Gray said...

Well, I have to say you tricked me again as to where your story was going. I first thought it was another possum adventure, then I realized that it was another unwanted pest, the mouse. As I read your post, I kept thinking about why some people seem to be on a fast track to total destruction in their lives. I just started reading Joe Gibbs "Game Plan For Life". It discusses how we need a game plan for our lives. I began to think that this relates to what you are saying. It is easy to try to change our ways when we get caught, but it is not so easy to change our ways when we just have a little poop on the top shelf. We need a daily plan to clean our cupboard!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Rick- Well summarized! Love those last couple sentences!

BTW- glad I could fool you just a little. That makes me smile!

Rick Gray said...

I am sure this will not be the last time for your "Tom Foolery" (sp?). You seem to have a knack for fooling me. As I read your posts, there are so many times that I find myself just grinning. Thank you for putting a spark in my day. I am looking forward to May for a bit more fooling!!!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Hopefully more before May!

Rick Gray said...

Then I will look forward to my cup flowing over. Thank you!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Ah...the reference to May was the coming book. I get it now! I thought you meant that you would have to wait until May to get a new blog post. Silly me. :)

Rick Gray said...

Yes, my reference to May is the most awaited book. I will wait until May for your new book, but not for a post! Maybe it was my East Tennessee slang that tossed you for a loop! Have a great weekend.

Rick Gray said...

Just noticed. Your picture changed. See what I mean that you keep tricking me.

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Yea...Seth took it for me when I went to visit him up in Boston. Proper lighting, great cameras, and refined skill in post-production editing make for a good pic. :)