My wife and I had a fight the other day about syrup…some FREAKIN’ SYRUP!
We went to brunch together by ourselves after church. We left the kids so we could enjoy time by ourselves.
Now, let me set the stage. I love syrup. Lots and lots of syrup. I also like for my syrup to be heated. Now before you think I’m high maintenance, what’s wrong with a brother soaking his waffles in some warm heated delicious liquid sugar?
We were having a nice time, just the two of us, when Tammy’s waffle came out before my food arrived.
She was almost finished eating by the time my two waffles appeared at the table. When “my” syrup — I repeat — MY syrup arrived, I used it. ALL of it. Because I requested it, I deemed it my own personal syrup.
Tammy, who only had one corner left of her waffle, glanced at me with that “no he didn’t” look.
“What’s the problem?” I asked.
(Why, oh Lord, why did I do that?)
With that question, our nice after-church meal turned into a full-blown argument. For a moment, I wondered if it would take President Obama himself showing up with a peace treaty to make us stop.
See, in hindsight, I should’ve prepared myself to give softer nicer responses. She probably should’ve requested some syrup as soon as it arrived at the table.
But hindsight is always… you know.
If we could protect ourselves from those little moments that turn into dessert storms, I believe most of us would. We would think different about the consequences, and we would replay the tape so we could never make those mistakes again.
We get caught off guard, because these things start out so small…
It happens everywhere – not just at the brunch table.
What about that friend who’s the opposite sex? Yeah, it’s just small talk at work and laughing at lunch. But never acknowledging the attraction doesn’t make the attraction disappear.
A small spark can burn an entire forest.
The choices to place a bet or purchase a lottery ticket never seems like a dangerous choice until you’re seeing your car on the back of a repo truck. Things that seem inconsequential can easily turn into a runway for big mistakes that’ll cost you for a lifetime.
Many marriages don’t recover from syrup arguments.
How do you do it? Realize this:
Winning is over rated.
“Blessed are the peacemakers” must’ve been included in the Sermon on the Mount for couples. Before marriage, you’ll let your new love of your life win. They can win what movie to see, the restaurant choice, even the syrup!
But, for some reason, winning becomes an underlying goal after the wedding.
Because we feel our independence slowly slipping away in the union to our significant other, we’ll go down with the ship in our disagreements. We sometimes feel like being right is all we have left that is ours. After all, we were too in love to remember the vows we took during the ceremony. Denying self was part of the agreement.
Marriages, business partnerships, churches, you name it…. many were killed over a small spark. One of the greatest life lessons I’ve learned (which I use in business and should’ve remembered at the restaurant) is that the loudest one in the room is always the weakest. Powerful people understand the effect of their words and they recognize that humility is the trademark of greatness. It wasn’t until we got in the car on that cold rainy Sunday that we finally apologized to each other. Sure do wish I would’ve made better choices while I was at the table.
There’s good news though.
Brunch happens every Sunday!
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