A while back, my wife and I were driving home late one Saturday afternoon around sunset. As we were driving down a long country road, she said, “Look at all of the smoke coming out of that house! I think it may be on fire!” She asked, “Do you think we should see if anyone is at home?” As we got closer, we could see that there were no lights on in the house and the smoke was getting heavier. It was literally pouring out of the roof and eaves of the house. My wife went to see if anyone was home while I quickly called 911. She knocked on the door, but no one was at home. We were glad we stopped and got involved. In a few minutes, several fire trucks pulled into the driveway and in short order the firemen knocked down the door and contained the fire.
A little later the family came home. They had gone out for dinner and had left the dryer running with some clothes in it. The dryer had caught fire and completely melted into a ball of crushed, shrunken metal. Although there was a lot of damage done to the house, it could have been far, far worse. The family was very grateful that we had called the fire department. They hugged us and thanked us repeatedly for saving their home. It was quite an emotional moment for all of us.
If it had not been for my wife’s insistence, I would have probably continued on my way and not gotten involved in the situation because I don’t like to “butt in” to other people’s business. We live in a world where most people prefer that you not get involved in their lives or personal business. None of us really wants someone pointing out what may be wrong in our lives, so we are often hesitant to get involved in anyone else’s life.
Yet, there are some things you just cannot ignore. You sometimes need to get involved – especially if it has to do with someone you care about and love. Sometimes it is necessary to “butt in” and say something to someone if you see them practicing destructive habits, or being unkind or sarcastic to someone else. It would be easier to simply ignore everything, but it is much more important to get involved and let people know that you care and something needs to change. I do not think we should become “policemen” to the world regarding every situation that comes our way. But, I do think it is very important that we not go through life simply turning a blind eye to every situation we encounter, especially when we know deep down inside that what another person is doing is wrong, hurtful to themselves and others, or is simply destructive.
I am not suggesting something specific for you to do with this Tip, but I am reminding myself and everyone else that it really is better to be involved in situations that need attention rather than letting someone’s “house” burn down. I am glad that we turned around and did what we could to help save that family’s home.
In recent days I have found it extremely helpful to review that situation in my mind. I have tried to be more aware of things I actually need to get involved in or say, not only to myself, but to other people as well; especially when I see a situation that I think I can help to improve. And of course, I should always communicate in a manner that is kind and loving to others in the process. I am not above being corrected myself either!
Keep your eyes open! You may see someone’s house is on fire – either figuratively or literally this week. And, you may be the only one to save the situation.
Tip: That house is on fire!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm