A Question of Motives

It’s a dangerous thing to question the motives of others. Without the ability to read minds, it becomes impossible to know for certain why people do what they do. Still, we try. We project our own experience, morality, and beliefs into situations we know little about and become certain of motives about which we have only cursory knowledge. Then we judge. Oh, how we judge. We make our judgments based on limited facts and our own deep reasoning.

Being a man of only shallow reasoning, I have trouble understanding my own motives at times so how could I possible know what drives you?

Take for example my recent outdoor experience.

I recently acquired a burn barrel. Now I’m not saying she’s the love of my life, but we do spend significant time together over the weekends. I fill her up until she glows and when she flames out, I lift her in an embrace and gently empty her. If that’s not love…

There is constantly fuel for my burn barrel in our woods and I wasn’t running low, but I also had to trim the hedges. You could say I “over-trimmed” or got carried away. If one were to question my motives they might say that I was looking for more fuel because the hedges are now gone. And when I say gone, I mean not only are they removed from the front of my house, they are smoke and ash. (insert little boy insatiable grin here)

When you get the fire hot enough, newly trimmed hedges are awesome to burn because of the moisture content. They sound like nature being tortured. But what happens when we torture nature? It tortures us back. Case in point the recent story about the rhino poacher who met the elephant and his buddy Mr. Lion. Karma hurts and I found out the world of flora has teeth too.

On day 3, God was at his creative best making lush meadow grasses, mighty oaks, roses, and lilies. Yet for some reason, he decided to throw in a little hell-weed called poison ivy. I’m not questioning his motives… but why? What could possibly be the purpose.

I know what poison ivy looks like and I know what to avoid, but somehow it snuck in my burn barrel. Listen children – don’t burn poison ivy. God not only made it a topical nuisance, he decided that inhaling it in smoke should be detrimental to your health, as well. Yeah God.

I won’t detail my itchy conundrum of the last few weeks. Let’s just say it took a while to get over that little patch of stupid. 

And did I learn anything?

It’s highly unlikely. I still burn yard debris, but I am more selective and watch out for ropy vines.

I’ve been trying not to doubt God’s motives in all this. I do wonder if red ants, mosquitos, and poison ivy are his little way of getting back at us for all we do to destroy what he created on day three. In the end, it was nice that he didn’t throw any giant venus fly traps in the woods.

I wonder if they would burn?  

11 thoughts on “A Question of Motives

  1. When I was a little girl, way back in the olden days, we had a burn barrel. For some reason there were some hot coals in the bottom and despite a million warnings….my friends and I had to put a long stick in to stir the coals. I needn’t point out that no adults were around. I pulled the stick out with the glowing, hot point and it accidentally hit my face right at the corner of my eye leaving a burn mark and hurting, well, like hell. Being the brilliant 5 y.o. that I was I thought I could cover up my misdid by sneaking into the house and slathering the wound with blue ink. Wasn’t that clever? Unfortunately it didn’t fool my mother one bit who couldn’t help but question the large blue mark by my eye. I’m happy to say that I never played with the burn barrel again….I found other dangerous adventures. It’s amazing that I have any of my body parts left.

  2. ooh, a tough lesson learned. I wouldn’t have considered this as something that could even possibly happen, but you have now taught me that it is so. I appreciate not having to learn this firsthand, thus leaving me more time to learn lessons on my own, like don’t put a tight lid on things you are microwaving. who knew?

    1. I actually knew that. And no metal in the microwave. Yeah, I had an allergic reaction and had to go to the ER for a breathing treatment and steroids. It was a long day – I felt like such a dummy.

  3. I never knew that PI was corrosive when burned, but am tucking that fact away for future reference, should I go deep woods camping.
    Respect the research…Yikes!

  4. OMG! I never considered what would happen while burning poison ivy – but then there are so many things that I have not considered until well after the fact. I think they call that regret.

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