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Consider the consequences

I had the opportunity yesterday to visit the new offices of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. It was a very good opportunity, but there was one thing that I found slightly disturbing, and incredibly funny.

Right beside the room I was in for a seminar was a little alcove with vending machines. Starting from the left, there's a Coke machine, a snack machine, the Pepsi/Aquafina machine, and then something else. Look at the picture:

That's right. It's a scale. Like the one the nurse puts you on when you go to the doctor for anything that's wrong, and then shakes her head slowly. That one.

I thought it was funny. Add in that the scale is one door down from the cafeteria/lunchroom area, and it gets funnier.

But, then, as I was about to buy a Coke, I looked at the scale. And I considered the consequences of my actions...the health effects, the impact on my hope to lose weight, the fact that I'd be going to lunch with the folks in the seminar, and would likely drink more Coke then...

I thought it was quite wise to have the scale there with the vending. It may not have been intentional. They may have just had one scale, and so couldn't hide it the restroom. It may have been a joke.

But really, how great a reminder that we need to think about things before we do them. What if that credit card terminal at Wal-mart showed not just the amount you were swiping, but the total, with interest, that you would be paying? I know that when you take out a loan, the legal disclosures show the total cost, but what if we paid better attention? What if the sticker price on a car was that total?

What if, when you looked at the price of a cocktail with dinner, they included on the menu the picture of a family killed by a drunk driver? How about adding a picture of your own daughter to the pornography you're looking at, realizing the cost for your pleasure is another man's daughter? What if you were forced to consider the real consequences before every decision?

So many of us claim to do so, but why do we keep coming to the wrong conclusions? Why do we still go ahead and take that debt, still have that drink, buy that magazine, bet that horse, cheat on those taxes, lie to our spouses or defraud our employees? Because we really don't have a healthy respect for the consequences. We don't face the scale every day telling us whether or not we have met our goals, whether or not we are facing down a growing crisis, do we? Yet we should. We should evaluate our efforts daily, evaluate the results daily.

We should seek outside counsel on the consequences. With the scale, I know what I should weigh. I know what I do weigh. Right now, I'm just trying to make my driver's license true. Why do I know what it should be? Outside help told me so: a doctor. Plus, I know, from experience, that the world won't miss about 25 pounds of Doug. Seek outside counsel about your consequences, from people you can trust to be honest with you. Seek standards based outside of what feels good or is convenient to you.

As for me...I went to the water fountain. It cost me no money, was thirst quenching, and didn't add a pound, an inch, a tick on my blood pressure. It might have even helped. Every few steps add up to more steps.

Doug

Comments

  1. Very good point if we all had the results before our actions maybe we would be alot better off.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anon--certainly if had the results, we'd be better off, because as they say, hindsight's 20/20!

    There's enough times that things go wrong in an unforeseeable manner, and so decision and action carries enough risk without disregarding the obvious and likely consequences.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good words, Doug.

    Reminds me of a quote (but I can't remember whose), along the lines of,

    "Sin wouldn't be so popular if its wages were paid immediately."

    Maybe I need a scale in the kitchen...

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Baptist Building architects were brilliant! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. By the way, I've been informed that it's the Business Manager of the ABSC who is responsible for the scales and their placement.

    Sounds like he's not trying to get business through vending, though...

    On a side note, if you go the ABSC building, check out the Keurig coffee machines! I think that's the solution to the 'made it this morning' pot of coffee that we churches generally offer guests...even in the evening! Cup at a time, quick, easy, and variety available, caff, decaf, tea, cocoa. I want one!

    Barring that, I'll be trying to go by the Baptist Building regularly to check my weight and get coffee!

    ReplyDelete

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