Learning Lessons the Hard Way: “Measure Twice, Cut Once”

Note: This is not about carpentry.

credits: lapdtopanga.org

In an attempt to be productive yesterday, I decided to leave home 1.5 hours before our music team practice to withdraw money and deposit them into a BDO account as payment for a grease trap that I would have delivered to our house.

In haste, I checked the BDO website and found that there was a katipunan branch open on Saturday. I did not bother checking the map, and just told myself that I’ll pass them one by one until I find the open one. As I left, I realized that I also forgot the cooking pot that I was to bring to the practice for our dinner.

After having the tires properly inflated, I went to the first BDO branch (beside Savemore). After parking, I realized it was closed, so I just proceeded to withdraw money from the ATM and proceeded to the next branch. The next branch (the building with Fully Booked) had full parking, so I went around the back street to try to look for parking. Finally, I found a spot by the corner. There was a car parked in front, and behind me were double-parked cars, so I thought It would be OK even if there was a “no parking” sign 7 meters from where I was.

I quickly parked the car and proceeded to the BDO branch, only to find out that it was also closed. Disappointed I walked back to where I parked my car (walking 2-way took around 5 minutes). Lo and behold, when I was a block away from the car, I saw what seemed to be a tow truck, moving right beside it. Much to my dismay, they were already attaching a tow line. Had I been a minute late, I would have been left with a sign with directions to the impounding place, on the spot where I parked the white AUV.

I was asked to ride the vehicle to the impounding place, where the fine would be issued. Apparently, the Barangay implements an alternate one-sided parking along the street. And the vehicle in front of me? Apparently, there was a driver inside, so it wasn’t considered as illegally “parked”.

To cut the long story short, I had to pay the fine of P2000, even after appealing to the very courteous but stern impounding crew. I realized too, that my driver’s license was not in my wallet for the past two weeks (found it at home 40 minutes after). I had to go back home to fetch my license and retrieve the cooking pot. In the end, I wasn’t able to accomplish much, and was instead 50 minutes late for the practice. And just today, I checked the BDO website again to confirm which branch was open on Saturdays. It was the branch that was near the Katipunan-Bonny Serrano Avenue, just before White Plains.

What did I (and what can you) learn from all these?

1. Pay attention to details – “haste makes waste”

To “measure twice” means to double check the details before you do an irrevocable action. Check the map before you drive to the branch. Check the surroundings before you park. Check your things before you leave.

2. God does not give us the punishment that we deserve

“He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
    nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.”

(Psalm 103:10, MSG)

As I was driving home, I can’t help but be anxious about what happened. But God made me realize, before I even got to ask the “what-did-i-do-to-deserve-this?” question, that I should be thankful that he did not punish me “in full”, and that I should just repent and pray, instead of having a proud and haughty attitude.

3. He gives and takes away

Most of us in the music team this week shared about how money seemed to evaporate from our hands. Indeed, as I was driving home from the impounding area, I can’t help but be reminded by Matt Redman’s “Blessed be your name” song lyrics. None of the things we own are actually ours, so why complain. Besides, I cannot let such a matter bring me down, especially since I was the song leader. Then again, regardless of my frontline participation in the worship service, my attitude should always be that of humble acceptance – exercising emotional resilience in the context of having a godly attitude.

Wisdom is said to involve learning from the mistakes of others. Be wise, measure twice, cut once.

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