The padre hears all sorts of stories, complaints and requests. There are happy ones, sad ones and the ones that defy categorisation. No one answer fits all, but this week it seems that I have told many people the law of natural consequences which goes something like this:
- If you overindulge drinking too much alcohol the natural consequence is that you may do things you regret.
- If you fail to spend the time studying the natural consequence is that you might fail that next test.
- If you are infringed or charged for doing something stupid, the natural consequence is that you may not like the outcome.
- If you continue to spend more money than you earn the natural consequence is that you will become painfully in debt.
- If you continue to do what you have always done, the natural consequence is that you will get what you always got whether or not you want it.
However, the law of natural consequences is not always negative! Over recent weeks I have also shared with a few who have shared a very different story like:
- I put in the work, studied hard and the natural consequence is that I will graduate next week
- Our course helped each other and the natural consequence was we did not lose anyone from our course.
- I have started to really listen to my partner and the natural consequence is that our relationship is better than it has been for years.
This is not a new law! The Good Book puts it like this:
“Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God.
What a person plants, he will harvest!”
(Galatians 6:7 the Message)
So, if you are frustrated by what you are harvesting, maybe you need to look at what you are planting!
The first step is accepting responsibility for the mess you are in instead of blaming everybody else.
The second step is to define what you really want.
Third step is change what you are doing in line with that new goal.
It will not be easy, you might need some help, but the good news is things CAN be better and the law of natural consequences CAN work for you! Part of my job is to help, so if you need a hand give me a call.
Chaplain Ian S Whitley