Decisions: Good and Bad

English: Ameren lineman practicing a rescue.

English: American lineman practicing a rescue. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right and wrong. Often we think of them as the two sides of a coin as it were, and often they are, but are they always? Let’s dig a little deeper here.

As a power lineman, and as an electrician I often deal with power that is concentrated enough to kill you quick. Not that it’s always in the line of duty.

Many years ago, a woman friend of mine had a TV fall into the bathtub with her child. The child was killed. It was called a horrible accident, and it was. Or was it? She knew, or should have known that you don’t let electrical appliances get anywhere near the bath, yes some, such as hairdryers are less dangerous because of safety regulations but still, you are taking a risk. And a CRT television (which was the only kind then) is very high on the list, risk wise. There are very high voltages and some are stored for a time. Bad news. She lost the bet. Sadly, although nothing could replace that child, neither could she have another. And so a woman who by most measures was a pretty good mother, is now childless. But it really is her fault, because of her carelessness. But I did and do feel sorry for her as well as the child.

Another story which I’ve told before

They were lucky but, every time Chris looks at his buddy, he’s reminded. Just as that woman in the first story is every time she sees a small child. We say it so often but do we believe it Actions have consequences. Believe it, they do.

And as a responsible supervisor, it is entirely my responsibility to make sure my crew is safe, from hazards known and unknown. Acts of omission can be (and often are) just as bad as acts of commission

I’m very glad neither of those accidents are on my conscience, I’ve been in a measure lucky but I was also taught to be careful, and what can happen when you are not. And yes, I do have some scars from near misses, both physical and mental. We do our best, that’s all we can do.

Church-of-EnglandWhat started me thinking about this now was that yesterday, my co-author Jessica’s fiancé was ordained a priest in the Church of England. And yes, I am extremely happy for them, and even more for the congregations that will have their services over their lifetimes. But what made me think about those stories above is this.

A few months ago, a young woman came to his rectory because she had heard she didn’t need an appointment to talk to a curate. She was in trouble, she was single, and she was pregnant and she didn’t want to be. But let us let Jess tell the story herself, because she was there and she shared with us then. Please do read it, it is here.

It is a remarkable story isn’t it? Especially the part about how she knew she had done wrong, what we would call grievous sin, although that term had no meaning to her.

And that is something that Jess and I have talked about with each other. In the United States, nearly everybody has some passing familiarity with Christianity, it may be entirely wrong, and yet, as a rule people, while they may think us judgemental (and sometimes we are) and with our noses in other people’s business (ditto), they have an idea of what we believe. In Britain, I gather that is not nearly as true. It is entirely possible to grow up and live your life without ever once coming in contact with Christianity. How that interacts with having a state church, I have no idea but, in any case it’s sad.

Most of you know that I consider abortion to be nothing less than infanticide, a fancy name for murdering your child, and I do.

But here’s the thing. In my examples above the actors knew what they were doing, they made an informed choice. In the case of Jess’ friend, she really didn’t. [As an aside here, she has become a stalwart member of the congregation, helping to run a homeless shelter, and very happy in her new-found faith, or so Jess tells me. I admire her greatly, and pray for her often.] But in Britain as in America, for a large part of the population, abortion is a convenience, used to avoid problems in your career and in your love life. In truth that was the case here.

But here, God in some hidden recess of her told her that she had sinned, and from what Jess said, I would guess that she was close to the point of adding suicide to her list of sins. I don’t know if you have ever been close to that black place of despair, I have, a couple of times, and one does not come back without help, of a friend, of a counsellor, or a pastor, and /or God himself. But if you do, you tend to come back stronger.

And that, my friends, is why I don’t condemn people. I do not know what they know, nor do I know how they reached their decision. This young woman reached out to those who were supposed to help her, and they were too busy, but she persisted and found a willing ear in a CofE curate. he listened and sympathised, as was right because he couldn’t make the decision for her. He moved her enough for her to want to see him after her abortion, and in that meeting, the three of them, plus God himself, saved that woman’s life. But reminding her that while those of us that are guilty (and that is all of us) must not cast the first stone, Jess’ friend as well as the woman at the well was instructed (as are we) “Go and sin no more“.

And the way I remember that is to always remember that one can only make decisions based on the knowledge that one has, if we have more complete knowledge, and they ask us, we must share our knowledge (and belief) but we may not, and even God does not, force them to use our knowledge. We all answer individually.

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

25 Responses to Decisions: Good and Bad

  1. Mike says:

    “…one can only make decisions based on the knowledge that one has, if we have more complete knowledge, and they ask us, we must share our knowledge (and belief) but we may not, and even God does not, force them to use our knowledge. We all answer individually.”

    The dividing line is always force.

    Like

    • NEO says:

      Yes, it is, exactly.

      Like

  2. the unit says:

    Heck, I thought I was the only one who ever thought of that song…’Stop the World (and let me off).’
    I bypassed some opportunities over the last 23 years to get off. Guess I’ll just wait for Obamacare now. And if I wait a couple of more decades, due to the rate of flaking of my skin now… my wife can skip the cost of a casket and burial service. 🙂

    Like

    • NEO says:

      Lot of us have been singing that song once in a while, Unit. Just normally don’t talk about it.

      Yeah, you and me both. and there lots screwed up but, there lots of good stuff too. 🙂

      Like

  3. the unit says:

    Yes. Here is a short blog on gratitude.
    http://notyourmothersmenopause.com/2014/01/27/when-the-dog-bites-when-the-bee-stings/

    Like

    • NEO says:

      Yep, it’s a good one. And you know my experience is that my mind starts going in circles, sometimes it good, and everything gets better, but when it’s bad it just gets worse, until you manage to break the circle, if you, or someone doesn’t, it can get very bad.

      Thanks for the link, Unit.

      Like

  4. the unit says:

    I get up before others in my house and mill about. After awhile and I not know if someone else up and maybe showering, so I put my hand on the copper hot water line from the water heater to feel if the water is running. I recall showering myself and someone using the hot and I got a cold awakening. Anyway recently when I did that before dawn and clicked on the light switch…I got a awakening…that might have put me to sleep, permanently. Is my switch bad or just a no no to do?

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yikes! Hard to tell from here, and important not to get wrong. I would replace the switch (they’re cheap), do turn the power off first, though. But i would also very carefully check the wires in the box, my guess is that a strand or more has come loose, and energized this that shouldn’t be. By the way, I dislike metal wall plates for just that reason, especially in older homes, metal and electricity can mostly through age become a deadly combination.

      If things are right, it should be entirely safe to touch anything showing, if it is not, there is something wrong somewhere. It’s likely best practice not to hold the copper water lines while working the switch as well, there are often vagaries in the earthing (or grounding) of them that have crept in over the years when maintenance was done. Be careful, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Thanks. Will be careful as I go. Yeah, house is ’72 model.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep, and lots of times the water lateral was the grounding system, and many have been replaced with plastic, leaving the water floating (electrically). It occasionally becomes energized (from someplace) and if it does and you’re connected to a ground (in 72 any metal in the electrical system should have been grounded) the current will flow through you. It can be very hard to find the problem, even when on site, I would likely start with the terminals in the hot water heater because often the hot water pipes have become ungrounded but it could be most anywhere.

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        • the unit says:

          Anything I check will be with power off. Think I’ll call the electrician we called when had those new modern kitchen appliances put in back in ’07 (seems like just yesterday). 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Not a bad idea, I’d say! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Thanks for advice. I don’t want to be like someone I read about who didn’t know anything until I read it in the newspaper or saw it on ESPN. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Always ready to give advice but sometimes, you get what you pay for 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          And sometimes yous don’t even. It’s a balancing act I guess. Stay vigilant. I don’t push my luck and think I’ll get alimony next time. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          There ya go! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          At my age and experience I shouldn’t have to worry about that anymore. But I read about a couple pushing 100 getting hitched in a nursing home a while back.
          If it happens to me I’m signing a pre and post-nuptial saying “don’t let them have me vote democrat after I’m gone, hon.” Plus a envelop in my safe deposit box from governing authority announcing “this junction box a code violation.” 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          That sounds quite reasonable to me. Why not, i still think about it occasionally 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          It is good to have somebody to talk to that ain’t out to get ya. Even then sometimes your talk can be hard if something is on your mind. Like today wife, still teaching, came in from hard day, dealing with a student that needs professional mental help, but father won’t see about it.
          And so listening to news of Boko Haram joining ISIS, simply said G.W Bush will go down in history as the worst president ever. I took issue and a little spat (all little after 35 years of a little spatting) evolved. Then she made the point, he took out Saddam who kept things in order back then. Duh. I saw her point (from her point of view). Kissee and make up. Complex situation that nobody would kiss Marie Harf long enough to get a shovel ready to do a job. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep, you’re right, my friend. So much stuff like that is what Jess and I used to talk about, who knows, maybe some day we will again, at least I can hope so because it’s lonely without someone.

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Wow, another issue/problem and I’ll just quote you likewise as to mine…”Yikes! Hard to tell from here, and important not to get wrong.” And I CAN NOT say replace the switch (they’re cheap).
          Good luck, be careful, look out for a live wire now. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          And hey, I was meaning…if you look for a replacement soul mate to talk to. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I know, and I don’t think it’s something you looks for. You’re simply grateful when it happens, and for that matter, Jess is recovering, and is still my dearest friend, as I am hers, it’s been a tough year though. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          I’ve been following long enough and often enough to understand the situation. I wish the best for both of you. I think I read you enough to say both give thanks and credit to the Grace bestowed by God even in our earthly lives.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I know, my friend. And yes, we both do, one of the things that moved me deeply was that after i spent most of September praying for her to recover, the second line of her first message to me was that she had been praying for me. Not many people around that would even say that but with her, i know it is simply the truth.

          And as she recovers she increasingly become Jess again. God has answered our prayers for each other many times, and His Grace is evident in our lives. it’s rather strange, really though, I have never seen her physically, nor heard her voice, nor has she mine but, she has become the best friend i ever had, and an integral part of my life. God gives us what we need, I guess. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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