Eight years ago we moved to Edmonton, Alberta. A month or so after we arrived I noticed a strange piece of wood on the floor with a shiny black veneer. “What the heck is that?” I thought to myself. And I set it aside, thinking I would soon discover from where it had come and thus where it belonged.
But I am not a patient man. Price checks at the supermarket drive me crazy. So does rush hour traffic. And I absolutely hate the months awaiting the decision of the appellate court on my manslaughter conviction. (Don’t worry. That third example is a counterfactual from a nearby possible world so you can breathe easier dear reader.) Anyway, you get the picture.
And so after a couple weeks I grabbed the mysterious chunk of wood and tossed it in the trash. Enough waiting. Good riddance strange chunk.
A week or so later I pulled my beloved Ovation guitar out of its case and stared in horror at the headstock with its gaping wound. Gaping wound of black veneered headstock. Strange shard of black veneered wood. In a moment it clicked like the end of Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense” when you discover the psychologist was dead all along.
Oh how I rued my impulsive decision. What a dollop of wood glue could have fixed nearly as good as new was now left as an enduring testimony to my own impatience.
But let my guitar’s permanent disfigurement not be in vain. Here’s the moral of the story: when you encounter something in your belief tradition that doesn’t seem to make sense (one could slot in any number of doctrines at this point) don’t be too quick to toss it. There is a probably a good reason it is laying around, and it probably fits somewhere even if you can’t quite see where at the moment.