Subtitle: Life lesson from a vacuum cleaner
Dark deeds follow the fermentation of evil sown in the fertile soil of frail humanity. In the vicious cycle of the current world order one mischievous act triggers another. Seemingly harmless offenses, justified by the ends attained, can lead to more frequent and questionable infractions. This afternoon played witness to such a state of affairs.
The first act was piracy. Due to the vast amount of media available through the simple internet cord many families make a living by creating marketable videos and selling the copies. Legitimate taxes are paid on property owned by venders of illegitimate goods. The novelties of late are dramatic television series on DVD. A whole season can be purchased for a few measly bucks. Being the proud Americans that we are, and not wanting to be left in the cultural dust of our compatriots we have purchased a couple of the shows. (Gasp!) Seeing as we could download the material for ourselves for free it would only stand to reason that our choice to further the Bolivian economy is in essence an act of kindness. Yet the impish whispers of doubt do nag at the back of one’s mind.
Thus began the compromise. It is a shame to tell what occurrence followed. Not many days ago my husband and I started to watch a series together. Not being able to finish all the episodes in one sitting we left it for another time. During the course of the afternoon my husband busied himself at his office with preparations for the evening church service. Left to my own devices the seeds of doubt planted by participation in the act of piracy sprouted into seedlings of betrayal. I thought to myself that there would not be great harm done if I were to just watch one more episode without my husband. Justifications grew like the bright green leaves that cover the tiny branches of a new sprout. Making sure that I had sufficient time I push the play button and gave life to the betrayal that I had already committed in my imagination. I watched the whole episode without being discovered. As the final credits rolled up the screen the dreaded guilt berated me.
Somehow the previous justifications now seemed shallow. Whatever was I going to do? I decided that I must pay penance. What could be severe enough? Housework! Yes, that would do it. The good deed of sprucing up a bit would cover up the evil done. And it might even be a perfect alibi for the time I was left to myself. Yes! It was a perfect cover up. He would find me working and be none the wiser.
I went looking for the vacuum. Turning on the machine created a high pitched squealing sound and a bright red warning light. Something was obstructing the suction. The endeavor to reveal the culprit commenced. The bag being emptied of filth and dust I turned my attention to the hose and the metal tubing. Holding the tube up to the light all I could see was darkness. Dismantling the pieces I found much dirt packed in. Just as I was pulling out the gunk my husband walked in! After a quick breath at the surprise of seeing him I check my guilt and reassured myself that my plan was working: he found me doing chores. As he watched what I was doing he smiled and kissed me. Oh! Why did he have to be so sweet?! I sputtered out an explanation about the clogged vacuum. He watched as my dirty fingers retrieved the problematic magnetic toy that had been the cause of the clog.
As I held the toy and looked in his unsuspecting face I was flooded by feelings of goodness that drowned the seedling of sin that I sprouted in my heart. I knew that I must confess. So I did. I blurted it out before I could second guess the prodding to upright behavior, “I watched the next Lost episode!” Suffice it to say that my dear man was shocked and playfully administered my chastening.
You see, that vacuum clinched it for me. It was unable to perform according to its created design due to an obstruction. Any good that it could do was thwarted by a tiny, seemingly insignificant toy. It was the same thing happening in me. I, too, was clogged up by a betrayal and attempted deception. Until it was confessed and brought to the light any good works that I desired to perform would be thwarted by that obstruction. My design was not created to harbor a wrong doing. The confession was embarrassing and liberating at the same time. The dirt that had accumulated was cleaned out and I was able to continue with a clear conscience.
So, what is the moral of my story? You can draw your own conclusions; but I for one am convinced more than ever of the importance of regular confession. While I may have to earn back the trust of my good man I am glad that there is now nothing between us obstructing the continuance of our relationship. And now I am going to re-watch the episode with my husband.