When we got a brand new garage door opener, it required installation. Fortunately, a friend of ours was a whiz at this sort of thing. He came over to help so we of course offered him food and drink. Since he wanted root beer, my husband got a six-pack to stick into the fridge.
Except one of the cans fell out of the plastic ring and exploded on the floor.
If this has ever happened to you, you know what an icky, sticky mess soda pop makes. Since the can’s contents were under pressure, it sprayed everywhere: the floor, the walls, the ceiling and all over me. In our case, since the fridge was open, it splattered the shelves and the food inside.
Well, since my husband was going to assist our friend with installing the door opener, guess who got to clean up the mess.
Now, I didn’t mind doing that so much. It was an accident, after all. I wiped everything down, and of course the floor was left wet. Then I went to change my root beer soaked clothing.
When I came back, there were dirty footsteps on the floor. Oh, great. Hadn’t I just cleaned up a mess? Now there’s more? “Hey, guys,” I told them, “the floor is wet. Don’t walk on the floor, okay?”
I received a promise that it wouldn’t happen again. I cleaned the floor a second time.
When I returned later, a new set of shoeprints had appeared. “Didn’t I tell you guys not to walk on the floor?” I demanded.
“Sorry. We forgot.”
The floor got a third scrubbing. Since I had a baby to take care of, I had to leave it to dry. You can imagine what happened next. Sure enough, more dirty footprints showed up!
“Why’d you walk on the floor?” I asked. “Didn’t I already tell you—”
“We needed a tool, and that’s where the tool drawer is. It won’t happen again.”
I gritted my teeth. “Do not walk on the floor. If you need a tool, ask me and I will get it for you.”
The floor got cleaned a fourth time and I set a chair to block the wet section. I created a sign and placed it on the chair: “Do not walk on the floor!!!”
Even that wasn’t enough. When I returned, the chair had been moved, and another set of footprints had mysteriously appeared.
It was enough to drive me bonkers. I figured the two of them were being totally unreasonable. But then I have to remember how many times I’ve been to Confession and recited those words from the Act of Contrition: “I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more . . . ” and then gone out and done the same thing again. And again. And yet again! Despite the fact that I know it’s wrong. Despite the fact that God has given me signs—that is, the Commandments—that I shouldn’t do a particular thing.
How many times has He wiped up the dirty footprints on my soul only to do it over and over again?
More times, I am sure, than I can count.
And yet, unlike me, not once has He ever complained about having to do it again.