31 March 2008

The damage we do to ourselves.

I was speaking today to another one of my co-workers. I am fond of this man. He is a good worker, he is always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone should they need it, at work or out. His Persian flaw, however, is he's a real Casanova.

In our conversation he told me he was tired of his hook-up lifestyle, and was beginning to think he was ready to move on. (Actually, he also said this a few months ago as well, and then went out on another round of hook-ups.) He is beginning to think it is time for him to settle down, and start living a different life- perhaps even finding someone he could form a permanent relationship with and starting a family. For my part, I nodded at the appropriate parts and encouraged him as best I could, while at the same time I was thinking how very, very hard it would be for him.

There's at least two problems as far as I can see. The first is, he's trained himself how to meet women in bars and the like. It has dawned on him that one night stands aren't the most stable basis upon which to form a relationship. The other problem will be his own constant temptation.

You see, I've been married to Puff for fourteen going on fifteen years. In all that time I have never cheated on her, never tried to cheat on her, never really given it a serious thought. I can claim no virtue for this, no special grace. It was really quite easy for a simple reason: I was lousy at picking up women. I had no skill in that area whatsoever, I haven't picked up any new skills, and I have no desire to humiliate myself in that field ever again. Ergo, honesty. Maybe honesty for the wrong reasons, but honesty nonetheless.

My co-worker, on the other hand, possesses considerable skill and knowledge, and he can't erase that. If he finds someone he cares enough about and with whom he's willing to try and make a go of a family life, he will still have that knowledge in his mind. He will know he has options. If things go bad for a while in his relationship, the temptation for him to go to someone else will be that much stranger, because he knows how to find someone else. Of his own free will, he has put a block between himself and his desire for a stable life centred on a family. He has hurt himself in ways he never imagined, but is now starting to feel for the first time.

This is where sin leads us. Not only does it lead us from goodness, it places barriers between us and our hopes of returning to goodness, and honesty, and truth.

So I remember him as well in my prayers these days. I think by now I'm praying for about half my co-workers, which probably means I'm about half-way to where I should be.

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