Last week I discovered that one of my favorite coffee mugs had a large crack across the bottom and up both sides. Although the mug had maintained its form, it was obvious that the crack would eventaully result in a break. I should have thrown the glass away at that point, but because it was one of my favorites, against my better judgement, I kept the glass and continued to use it. The first couple of times I used it, all was well. I washed it several times, and still all was well. After a while, I became confident that the glass would hold up and began to ignore the inevitable and impending break.
This morning, I opened up a brand new box of my favorite gourment instant coffee. I poured it into my favorite, but defective mug, with all confidence that I would momentarily be sipping on some deliciousness. I poured in the coffee powder and the hot water and began to stir. It was then that I heard the unmistakable, creaking sound of the glass cracking. The pressure from the heat put too much strain on the crack and it was about to break. I put the cup down and turned to run to try and get another glass, but before I could take one step, the glass exploded apart and my gourment coffee was spilling all over the place. Not only did the glass break and the coffee spill but the spilled liquid got all over my carpet, seeped under my blu-ray player, saturated a surround sound speaker and got on my clothes.
My dominating thought at the moment was, “I should have thrown this away when I first realized that the break was inevitable!” When it was all said and done, not only did I have to throw the glass out anyway, I also had to throw out the speaker and blu-ray player and spend a lot of time cleaning up the mess that was left behind.
MORAL OF THE STORY: This is how relationships are at times. The relationship is deeply cracked from the inside-out and there is no way to fix it. You can see the crack and an eventual break is inevitable, but because this person means so much to you, you continue to function as if all is well. You ignore the warning signs and keep pouring more into it, expecting to enjoy a benefit that you will never reap, not considering what you can lose or what it may cost you. You don’t consider what may happen when the contents of the inevitable break seep into other areas of your life. When the ill effects of all of the lost emotion, time, energy and effort that you have continuously poured into the relationship begin to affect your other relationships, your job, your health, your ministry, your goals, etc., not only will it damage or destroy those things, it will cost you time to clean up the messy aftermath of the break!
Although there was no way for me to prevent the glass from breaking, once it was cracked, I could have greatly mitigated my damages by heeding the warning signs; throwing the glass out when I first knew the break was inevitable. Just like a cracked glass will eventually break under the pressure of hot liquid, so will a defective relationship inevitably break under the pressure of life’s challenges. Relationships never end without warning. Heed the warning and cut your lossess before they become even more expensive.
Never pour something valuable into something broken…
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~Insights from Dr. Intimacy~ © 2015, Laneen DrIntimacy Haniah