"Captain Marvel"

I want to like spicy foods. I really do. So occasionally, when given the opportunity, I risk the comfort and try something hot and spicy.

At least, I used to risk. Not anymore. I will not “get back on the horse” ever again when it comes to hot and spicy peppers.

You see, it all started when my bestie gave E a few habanero peppers. Being the selfless person that I am, I allowed one pepper in our delicious stir fry. But as soon as the pepper was cut, I accidently licked my finger.

SHAZAM!

I have no idea who Captain Marvel is, but I’ve named the pepper “Captain Marvel”. Because in the instant I licked my finger, I could almost hear the habanero pepper cynically whisper, “Feel my wrath evildoers, shazam!”

No water or milk or food could suffice the fire burning inside my mouth. And it didn’t just last a few seconds.  I thought my lips were going to fall off as my mucosa lining smoldered.

As soon as the torture in my mouth ended, my eye itched.

SHAZAM!

The waterworks began. It was awful. I learned my lesson and washed my hands at least 4 times with soap.

By then it was bedtime and I needed to take my contacts out. I sadly discovered the soap could not conquer “Captain Marvel”. So I cried some more. And I cried again the following morning when I tried to put my contacts in my eyes.

Forty-eight hours after the original incident, I was still feeling the aftermath. The wrath of “Captain Marvel” took it’s toll on my poor self.

The whole experience is kind of funny now. But as I really think about, I’ve come to realize this is very similar to other areas of my life. Except it’s not related to food, nor is it funny.

There’s this thing called consequence. And this thing comes around at the end of something else. A consequence is often the outcome of something occurring earlier. It’s the end result, the final product, the effect of the cause.

I’d like to think my actions are without consequence, but the reality is, whether we acknowledge it or not, our thoughts, words, and deeds are rarely isolated. Whether instantly or later on, a result is produced that is directly connected to our original action.

What are the consequences of my actions? Are my thoughts productive or destructive? Do my words bless or curse? Are my deeds helpful or harmful? What kind of ripples are being made because I threw that one pebble into the pond? Who is touched by that ripple? Am I proud or embarrassed?

Just like I couldn’t seem to escape the wrath of “Captain Marvel”, neither can I run from the effects of my actions. The question is not “will others feel the aftermath?”, but rather, “will it be sweet, sour, bitter, or spicy?” There are good consequences and there are bad consequences. Each action has a consequence.

So may you be alert and attentive to the ripples you are making with your thoughts, words, and deeds. May grace and humility fill your heart so you are enabled to grab a mop and do ‘clean-up’ in each aisle you have spilled sour milk. And may your interactions with people leave a sweet taste in their mouths. And may you never, ever bite into a habanero pepper.

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