We had a series of major storms here last night. In a matter of minutes, the cities of Byram and Pearl MS were ravaged by tornadoes. Thousands of people lost power, and the damage is still being assessed. So far, thankfully, there have been no fatalities in the area. Sadly, people in Arkansas and Missouri weren’t so lucky.
I was struck again by how thin the line is. You know the one – it stands between success and failure, wholeness and injury, gain and loss.
Life and death.
It’s amazing how fast our fortunes can turn. In the blink of an eye, our whole world can change. No matter how we plan, how we prepare, or how careful we are, we aren’t immune to this phenomenon. Many times, it is beyond our control. God alone decides.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare, save, or train. Nothing says we should be stupid. We should always strive for safety, use good practices in all we do, and consider our actions carefully. All these things are important, and can stave off many of slings and arrows that life throws at us.
Just not all of them.
So, as we go into a new year, it seems a good time to reflect on our practices and plans, good and bad decisions, strengths and weaknesses. This is the time to look at what we did in the past year, how successful it was, and what we should change in the new one. It’s always important to evaluate our successes and failures with an eye toward maximizing the former while minimizing the latter. As woodworkers, we should evaluate both our techniques and safety practices – hone our skills like we hone our tools. In both cases, making them better and better. Just remember, they’ll never be perfect.
Just try to stay on the right side of the line.