By Branden DesCarpentrie

One evening, when I was teenager, my parents went out for the night.  Home alone without a car in central Illinois, I needed some entertainment.  So I headed to our utility room where, hanging in front of our shelves, was a real cork dartboard complete with metal tipped darts.  As I had done many times before, I began playing a game of darts against myself.  I got bored fast, so I thought, “Hmmm…how can I spice this up?”  My self-proclaimed genius teenage mind came up with a great idea.  I stepped further back and began to hurl the darts over my shoulder like a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs (insert Cubs joke here).

It was a lot of fun until I missed badly (insert another Cubs joke here) and drove the steel point of a dart into a can of black spray paint a few feet away from my target.  Black paint began to spray into the room.  At that point I panicked.  After a second of hesitation, I ran for the can.  Grabbing it off the shelf, I tore through the house out onto our front deck where I threw it onto our driveway.  Whew!  Glad I got that taken care of.

But when my dad and mom got home they weren’t very impressed with my little solution.  A stripe of black paint covered the utility room’s door frame.  Another one had been placed on the hallway entry conveniently next to a third black streak covering the side of the oak case spotlighting my dad’s collection of wood carvings and steins.  At the front door a black circle offset the door knob where I had turned the handle while holding the can.  And finally, there was the black streak across our front deck laid by the trailing mist of the paint can sailing onto the gravel drive.

Since none of the finishes in our house happened to be black, my trail of panic could be traced easily through the house.  The ridiculousness of it all was sealed with my dad’s response after surveying the damage: “Why didn’t you just throw it in the garbage can in the utility room?”  Hmmm…that’s a good idea!

This little mishap in my life reminds me of a spiritual truth.  As believer, when something goes wrong or there is a trial in my life, what do I do? Panic, grab it myself and damage everything around me?  Check out what 1 Peter 5:7 says:  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. When the “spray paint” of life is released, I need to remember to humbly lay it at the cross and have faith that “he will lift me up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6 NIV)

It will probably avoid a bigger mess too!