little things

image courtesy of

“Oh”! – “I was sooo close”! I said on more than one occasion. Then came the typical answer, “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”! OK, I’ll admit I’ve used that worn adage as well. I’ve been on both sides of that comment, sometimes winning, sometimes losing.

I enjoy those old adages that equate the reality of time, space, or distance. As children, we’d tease in good fun and humor while playing games. Another popular adage used in ribbing our peers was, “Close”! – “But no cigar”!

Often the difference between winning and losing can barely be measured, but the outcome is the same. Probably my favorite of the adages that would fall under that category came to me as an adult, “A miss is as good as a mile.”

That one I think sums up the analogy pretty well… It makes no difference if we miss our mark, shot, place, or time, it ends with the same result; losing or missing the intention of our heart and desire.

Hazel over at A Joyful Noise had a post a while back describing the small action of Eve (of Adam and Eve fame), and the impact that one small thought acted out in the flesh of eating an apple then sharing it with Adam had on all of creation.

One apple… They even shared that one apple, that’s not a lot of food! One small act with a small amount of fruit and the whole world and every offspring born by natural means would be affected forever.

Unlike a game or sporting event, this small miss carried vast consequences. How many misses have we had along the way and how has it impacted not only our lives, but also the lives of others and our loved ones?

Our close calls, whether right or wrong, started inside of us, just like it did in Eve from whom we’re all descended. A decision is required by all of us, all the time. Every good or evil thing starts in our minds.

When our older girls were younger I refused to go shopping with my wife or kids. I was too important to spend my valuable time doing menial tasks such as shopping. (Insert sarcasm here), It didn’t meet my standards of a good time, therefore I avoided all things shopping.

I honestly just started going shopping after all these years, I’m not saying I love to shop… But my loved ones do… In my selfish nature, I chose to put myself and my feelings above the feelings of my entire family.

That choice made in immature ignorance haunts me now…

Oh I’ve got a few Christmases where I surprised all four of my girls, (wife and daughters), with over priced brand named jeans as a special gift, but that was the exception, not the rule. Thank God for the few exceptions or I’d be an even bigger ogre in the memories of my family.

The misses we have in life, like Eve’s in the garden, have the same ugly foundation that we rest upon naturally; the foundation of self. The fine line of self-respect is crossed over into selfishness and before we glance back, the line is faded in the distance of our chosen life.

This afternoon I took my wife and youngest shopping. My little one ended up with a needed pair of jeans we found on sale. She wanted me to pick them out…..Little things mean a lot.

I looked high and low for a yellow or turquoise dress for my wife. She looks even more beautiful in those colors, but we came up empty handed. We had a blast…

Like most knuckleheads, given enough time, we figure it out. It’s not about the money we spend… It’s about the time we spend…

I thought I was coming close often over the years, I tried to justify when it wasn’t quite close enough.

Maybe someone should have reminded me, “A miss is as good as a mile.”