Sometimes we have ideas which we fail to think all the way through. This was one of them. It is from September 20, 2006.
It started innocently. I mentioned several days ago that I have discovered great elation in mixing a packet of Welches' Jelly into my breakfast oatmeal. The jelly comes from our Westbury Christian School cafeteria, left over from breakfast sales of Chick-Fil-A biscuits and sandwiches. I told my classes how much joy I find in just a bit of taste being added into my morning cereal and how I would welcome any packets found left on the lunchroom tables. My plea was effective. In fact, it was too effective. Today, students brought me twenty-two of the packets, both strawberry and grape, to make my breakfast more palatable. I was euphoric until Ariel, one of my students and former basketball players, told me she wanted jelly on her breakfast....and there was none. I offered her one of the packets from my collection but breakfast was long-gone. I felt guilty but I think there is a logical explanation. Most of the kids who buy breakfast don't grab the jelly packets even though they are entitled to them as part of the meal they have paid for. Today, many of those kids simply accepted what belongs to them instead of leaving the jelly in the condiment container. As a result, the supply available was consistent with the normal demand so the jelly box was depleted. The upshot is I have a three week supply of oatmeal flavorings but someone went without because of me. I told the kids to lay off for awhile. My hope is that I haven't created a jelly monster.
So many things we get involved with or promote have the potential to spin out of control. We can't see the unexpected swerves in the road or predict how one event leads to another. Ripple effects can result from more actions than just throwing rocks into a pond. While the Israelites camped for forty years in the wilderness, God provided manna for them on an everyday basis. There was a catch. They could only gather the amount of the so-called bread of angels that could be consumed in one day. Any left over to be hoarded became filled with maggots. That might be a good lesson for me. Excesses lead to problems even if the initial motives are pure. I'm still going to enjoy my Welches-laden oatmeal for the next twenty-two bowls of microwaved nutrition but I am going to be careful. In the morning, I'm going to check the jelly for bugs.
Applicable quote of the day:
"A bachelor's life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner."
Sir Francis Bacon
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