Getting Ahead: The devil’s in the details

By John G. Pfeifer - Religion Columnist

I am blessed to be an optimist and that is why I tend to look at things from the positive side of life.

Usually this is a good trait but there are times that both the positive and negative have to be considered in making a decision. My dad used to tell me that you cannot complete an electrical circuit unless you have a positive and negative field. You can wire the positive post on your battery, but the starter will not turn over until you hook up the ground.

A detail, if overlooked, will result in absolutely nothing happening regardless of the effort put into it.

I grew up thinking that there was an angel on one of my shoulders and a devil on the other. I’m sure that I developed this mental image because I had seen cartoons depicting that very thing. The outcome of my choice was determined by which voice I listened to. The voice I listened to was a direct result of the knowledge I had of right and wrong.

If I change the battery in my car, I know the right thing to do is to hook up both the positive and negative cables. I further know that the wrong thing to do is to connect the positive cable to the negative post and the negative cable to the positive post regardless of what the devil on my shoulder is saying. If I did this I would create a dead short and I would probably get burned badly as a result of it.

My actions are a result of knowing to do the right thing.

It is not easy to admit that we miscalculated the outcome of a situation in our life. After things do not work, we have a tendency to blame the outcome on all of the circumstances that happened after the decision was made.

Could it be that we listened to the wrong voice before we determined what to do, or what not to do? Did we not have the knowledge necessary to make the right decision? Is the devil really in the details or are we trying to hook up a negative cable to a positive post?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington High School Gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 West Court St. in Washington C.H.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist