If I were an automobile, I might get maintenance notices from the factory reminding me to have my timing belt replaced or to check the belts up front. And with all that accumulated “mileage” inside of me comes a bit of learned wisdom.

The other day my wife and I were debating a rather difficult decision — one in which neither of us was sure which way to go. Being a human being can sometimes cloud your judgment with petty emotions and hurt feelings.

But in the end, she summed it up perfectly: “In life, you’ll never regret doing the right thing.”

With her words, suddenly it was as if all the distractions of the decision washed away — injecting a moment of clarity that pushed out all the human weaknesses, thus allowing us to make a decision based solely on what our heart was telling us all along.

Once in a while you hear a collection of words that cut to the quick — words that so succinctly express a thought and apply to countless situations in life. My wife’s words hit me like a giant burst of sunlight breaking though a late afternoon thunderstorm. Suddenly, I had a new tool — or guiding phrase — to pull out of my quiver whenever faced with a decision distracted by emotion.

Like most of us, I tend to think I try to make the best decisions in life. But occasionally, having the weakness of being a human being, I’m sure I’ve come up short at times in my life. And most times, it’s only afterward when my conscience continues to beat the drum of “I told you so” that I recognize the error of my ways.

I’m fortunate to have God and my wife in my life — both are patient and understanding of what they have to work with in me. Each provides me with a compass and comfort that makes my life complete.

So here I go forward with a new tool of clarity — one to help me make the right (and difficult) decisions. So much for making a list of pros and cons, as all can now easily be trumped by listening to a simple phrase my wife spoke to me this week.

Charity and generosity are active decisions and something I’ve eagerly participated in for decades. But each of these two require the balancing of needs and wants against a whirlwind of personal distractions and other varied commitments. And to a certain extent, the latter elements can influence our decisions.

But, if I’m able to put each of those decisions in my future against the simple test of my wife’s words, I’m sure I’ll arrive at the right decisions more quickly and feel much less angst in my heart.

Maybe this is my personal experience of having my timing belt replaced — the key ingredient from which everything else in the engine depends on for running smoothly. I’m just glad God is still sending me reminders that we all need to go in for maintenance once in a while.

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com.

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(1) comment

Bonnie Farmer

Well said, Leonard! Thank your wife for sharing an easy way to choose doing the right thing.

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