Sunday, August 5, 2007

Those who live in Glass Houses... Part 1

So in my late grade school early Jr. High life we had moved to Grand Junction Colorado and lived in a house with a peach orchard. And my brother and I spent much of our time outside working in the orchard and doing outdoor kinds activities.
But there was also the house. Houses are very interesting edifices. Beginning with concrete and various sizes and flavours of wood and continuing with siding, sheet rock, roofing, wiring, plumbing there's a lot that goes into a house. Oh, and windows, houses have many windows.
Ah, windows. Windows tend to be an afterthought. They are pretty much ignored unless they are dirty, or open when they shouldn't be, or if you are the decorator type and enjoy curtains and blinds and that sort of thing. Or when they are broken, windows are definitely noticed when they are broken.
Broken windows are a pane.
In the life of most houses, the broken window is a very occasional nuisance. Unless some sort of natural disaster strikes (earthquake, hurricane, tornado, etc.) most home windows remain in a relative state of unbrokenness for the life of the house.
Our particular house had lived a life of ease as a single story "L" shaped ranch for years.
Then came the "sun room."
My mom loves plants, and to encourage our family botanist my dad had a sun room built that filled in a portion of the open "L" in our house. It had large slanting floor to ceiling windows making up the south wall, and those adjustable louvre type crank open windows on the east side. Our current house provided the other walls of the room, which included sliding glass doors from the master bedroom which opened into the sun room. It was a room designed for letting in light to grow plants. It contained of a large quantity of glass.
It was also large, square and empty when it was finished. A large empty square space that was begging to be used. My brother and I answered "the call of the room" with "the game." "The game" consisted of two wiffle ball bats and a beach ball. "The game" was beautiful, simple, and we were addicted to it. He had a wall. I had a wall. If the beach ball contacted his wall I got a point, if the beach ball touched my wall he got a point. The beach ball was motivated by the wiffle ball bats. Bats which we held securely in our hands and which were swung with great control and efficiency.
"Held securely", "great control"... any reasonable person should understand the complete care we were taking right? Well mom and dad didn't understand. They forbade us to play this game - when they found out what we were doing. They just didn't understand.
We took this prohibition to be more like guidelines that meant that we weren't to play this when they were present or might find out that we were playing it.
One afternoon we were playing "the game" when my brother's bat swung in a high graceful arc and smashed through one of the two clear glass globe light fixtures which illuminated the room when the sun wasn't shining.
We cleaned up the pieces and shards. And then in true fool sharpening fool logic we decided that since we had already broken something we might as well continue playing and get all the enjoyment we could, because once dad came home dire consequences would happed and "the game' would truly be all over.
So, we continued playing. And a second graceful arc and the second light were obliterated and cleaned up. And then at the height of excitement the bat left my brother's secure grip at a high rate of speed and when through one of the louvred window panes.

I guess we better call dad.

Dad: "So you were playing the game that we expressly forbid you to play?"
Brother: "Yes"
Dad: "And you broke a light?"
Brother: "Yes"
Dad: "Then you continued playing until you broke another light"
Brother: "Yes"
Dad: "Then you continued playing until you broke a window?"
Brother: "That about sums it up"

My brother puts his hand over the mouthpiece and says with a frantic loud whisper, "He's not saying anything!"

Needless to say dad did come home, consequences were meeted out, and we never played "the game" again. But it is a vivid living example to myself of how sin and foolishness is perpetuated:

1. We don't take God at His word (Thou shalt not, truely means don't -ever- do it)
2. We practice deception (if people don't see me do it, it is Ok to do it)
3. Instead of confessing our sin immediately, we just keep doing it

Proverbs 13:20(NIV):
20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm
Proverbs 26:11(NIV):
11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.

1 comment:

Trisha said...

Great story, hon! I always enjoy hearing that one. Look forward to hearing the rest of the "window" stories. Oh, and by the way, when you get back from your business trip, the girls' "window" needs hanging again. A friend who shall remain nameless accidently knocked it down while changing after swimming last week. I forgot to tell you. The sins of the father shall be visited upon the 3rd and 4th generation?!?! (or second generation so far!)