Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Wet Blanket

While Mom worked as a children's librarian at the New Vienna Elementary school for many years, she was equally active in community organizations. Burned into my memory is how she would return home after a meeting of one of these clubs grumbling about someone and consistently would say, "She's a WET BLANKET".  As a child I had no clue what it meant but I could tell from the tone of voice and facial expression that it was NOT a compliment. The website gives several interesting definitions, among which are: A person who seems determined not to have a good time and refuses to play or interact with others. Someone who generally has a negative attitude. Someone or something that could have utility but chooses not to. This is from the idea that a blanket could be a wanted item, but is no longer wanted when wet.

We've all been in situations where people have great ideas.  Risky ideas. Fiery ideas! Inevitably the "wet blanket" of the group---and you are fighting a long, uphill battle if there is more than one to deal with---tosses out their negative barbs. "We've never done it that way." "That's not a good idea."  "It's impossible, can't be done."  A wet blanket will smother a smoldering fire before it fully ignites.  Wet Blankets not only smother fires, they initiate NOTHING.  They accomplish even less.  Fires can be good and even productive, albeit hot. Don't give up when some well mean soul heaves a wet blanket on your fire.  Instead consider the mighty sequoia forest: when tested by fire, it drops new seeds onto soil that has become receptive because that which would choke out the seed previously was fried.  The sequoia stands tall and, because of the fire, actually reproduces better because of it. 
Or how does a fine craftsman remove dross from the gold or silver?  Yep, you guessed it.  Put a fire under it to make the impurities easier to remove.  

From my own experience, each Sunday as I lead worship, there are wet blankets.  As I sing and encourage others to do the same, there are those who refuse -- with a vengeance.  Not only do they not even attempt to open their mouths, they scowl!  But many years ago I decided not to be deterred by these persons:  actually it makes me more aware of how blessed I am to be God's child and be able to lift my heart and voice to praise Him.  When I think of all He has done for me, how on earth can I keep from singing?!

It is not a case for us of if but when some well-meaning soul will throw a dripping, wet blanket on the fire.  We can choose to give up and willingly let the embers die.  We can learn to be miserably comfortable, living a life of boring mediocrity. Not me!  I am going to pray that God, who is a CONSUMING fire, would set all of us ablaze with His holy love, in much the same way He did so for Moses in the burning bush.  In so doing, may we burn brightly with the light of hope that tomorrow can -- and will -- indeed be a better day!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! How true about wet blankets in all senses of the phrase.