That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

Paper Tiger

wow. So another known figure has to admit to “transgressions.” What is new?

A. Rod, Michael Jordan, Brad Pitt and his vampire, Ali., any politician, King DAVID and Bathsheba, every rock star, Meg Ryan, the wife from the Sopranos, Ted Haggard, Madonna, Jesse Jackson, O.J., Bill Cosby, Jamal Harrison-Bryant, Anne Heche, plus billions of other people.

It is a common occurrence, and while it doesn’t anymore surprise me, it still sickens me. I proclaim that I will never cheat on my wife, that there are too many steps involved — any one of which provides me the chance to stop and think…

So, what makes it so prevalent? Aside from the fact that the urge was designed to be as strong as it is in order that multiplied billions of us are reproduced? We are all sinners! Given time and opportunity, all of us have done what we shouldn’t have at one time or another. For me, absent an all-seeing God who taps me on the shoulder constantly, I would go, too.

The confidence I have is not that I am great — or even GOOD — but that God can’t die and won’t cast me over the side (a problem those who don’t believe in the perseverance of the saints must reconcile).

My lack of shock at Tiger’s confession does not mean that I am jaded and resigned to the plummet of morality. I happen to think that a God who can see the whole future KNEW that we would do what we do when He set down the Law millennia ago! And my disappointment is not that I thought him perfect. I’m just tired of seeing brilliant people be so doggone STOOPID! I’m tired of things like this giving man-haters seeming validation for their points of view.

Yes, men cheat. They cheat with women! Women cheat. People cheat. It’s not as though there is a lost continent somewhere where all the sluts are, and that that’s where rich guys go when they tell their wives that they have a conference in Toledo.

I’m sick of press gatherings and pubic apologies and beleaguered wives and feeding frenzies.

Maybe it’s because I was never a guy who had women chasing me around the room, but I can’t see how folk can be so monumentally dumb as to leave text message trails and voice mails on the cell phone of women with the moral depravity to have sex with somebody’s husband!!!

How can you be a genius on the golf course, and a buffoon in the battle of the sexes? Why did he get mixed up with hostesses and waitresses? I’m sure there were homewreckers out there with as much to lose as he who were willing to lay up and shut up!

I do have an occupation which provides me with ample opportunity to do what I want and get away with it. I see guys doing it all the time. (And I sometimes see them get caught!) I have a wife burdened down with children, so I don’t have to worry about her popping up on me unexpectedly. I get looks occasionally, and sometimes more than just looks. But aside from love and fidelity, fear would keep me in check. Fear of the whooping God would lay on me if I did that! And fear of not raising my kids, and of having my wife hate me. Fear of public shame and ridicule. Fear of having people throw this blog in my face and calling me a hypocrite. And fear of the ramifications of the damage to my Christian efforts.

A few years ago, a  married woman slashed the tires on my sister’s car. She worked with my sister and told her that her husband was a mechanic (a big, greezy dude). She saw the car in her driveway and lost it.  My parents wanted to meet with her and her husband, and I wanted to be there, too!

The woman apologized profusely, saying that it happened at the spur of the moment. When everybody else was through talking, I said what I had to. I told her husband that if ANYthing happened to my sister, since I would go to jail for beating up a woman, I would come to HIM, and that his best move was to make sure his wife acted rationally because his wife wasn’t the only one who could go crazy!

But my main point of attack was at her assertion that it was a spur of the moment act. I told her that that was not true. She had to look out the window, see the car, get angry, go into the drawer and get a knife, unlock the door and go outside, stab one tire, and walk allll the way around to the other side and stab another one!

At any point, I told her, she could have stopped herself. She could have realized that the car would be stuck in her driveway. And that she would have to pay for the tires, not being able to lie about who did it. And that she would still have to face my sister at work. AND THAT SHE WAS THE ONE WHO TOLD MY SISTER ABOUT HER HUSBAND BEING A MECHANIC IN THE FIRST PLACE!

she agreed.

I tell this story to emphasize the fact that there are many steps to adultery. There are countless chances to let the heat of lust die down and gather the senses — and the loins. You have to meet a person, have a conversation, get a number, DIAL the number, erase the number, drive to the meet-up, get the room, and do all the rest. An affair has even more steps. One has to really be unhitched from the conscience to do all that. And that is scary!

And simply getting caught — which is what always causes the confession — doesn’t automatically switch on what was shut off.

When I go to work at the nightclub, or most other gigs, I always take my palm pilot. I spend my breaks playing Scrabble. I know the guys think I’m this dull church boy, but I don’t care. That thing keeps my mind occupied. They don’t know me the way I know me! I see the women — can’t help it — but I don’t dwell on it.

My philosophy has always been to keep myself out of tough situations. It’s easier to get out of a puddle than a pool! When I was single, all I did was think about how fine this woman or that one was, and how I could break past the shyness to win one. But even then, I tried to keep myself from getting into debauchery. I know that was God, and while I usually listened to His voice, the times when I didn’t always led to pain.

To this day, I can’t see how guys do what they do out in the open, but I can’t go around moralizing. What I do do is take the opportunities presented to me to tell them about my methods and reasoning. It’s a lot more fun to not have to feel like Tiger feels now than to roll in the sack and lie about it and get caught and get cussed out by the wife and hire a lawyer and give half a billion dollars, the houses and cars and KIDS to her for some other dude to enjoy!

 But Tiger didn’t ask me.

It’s a lot more fun to win a Scrabble game than to feel like the stuff on the bottom of the oven on the inside because you messed up again.

It feels a lot better to envision a bright future than to spend your time wishing your arms were long enough to grab and change the past…

This is why I idolize God. I know I won’t ever have to worry about TMZ coming up with photos of Jesus and some random harlot drunk frolicking in the back of a Tahoe, or a voice mail of Him asking said harlot to erase her name from her phone. Jesus won’t ever have to “release a statement.” Only a Testament.

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December 2, 2009 Posted by | A. Rod, Adultery, Advice, Christ, Christian Life, Fidelity, Integrity, Tiger Woods | 9 Comments