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Paved with Good Intentions

Updated on August 27, 2015
The Road Ahead
The Road Ahead | Source
Which way?
Which way? | Source

The Road

You know the saying and where this particular road leads. I'm travelling along it, the scenery is pleasant and all seems well, but suddenly I realise that some way further back there had been a fork. I had ignored it and continued on in my own sweet way. Now I'm wondering,

'Back there, did I take the correct fork?'

'Should I have gone right or left? Do I need to go back?'

I should return and find out what the sign-posts said, but I can't turn around, there's only one way and that's straight ahead. Now I remember what I should have thought of before.

Which Road Will it Be?
Which Road Will it Be? | Source

Action or Inaction

I can see those signs in my mind's eye quite clearly. Those forks in the road had names: Action and Inaction. The one I automatically chose was Inaction; it was easier. But now I know that I should have taken Action.

I'm reminded that there are things that we should do, but don't do them, and things that we should not do but somehow we do them - without even thinking about it. It sounds a bit like that ancient prayer that people used to say about sin.

Most people don't think about sin any more. They say, I just do what I want and it was either a good idea or not so good, but thinking that something we do could actually be a sin is so old-fashioned. We don't think like that any more.

Am I On the Right Road?
Am I On the Right Road? | Source

Omission and commission

What was that old prayer about?

Oh, yes, they were called the sins of omission and commission. I guess it means the same thing in the end. We don't do the things that we really should do, and we do the things that we definitely should not do.

Well, that's me! I'm not really bad and don't often do bad things, but quite often I don't do things when I should. It's my friend's birthday, or my children's wedding anniversary. I remember the date, so I've thought of them; that's good. But then, life gets busy, I get lazy and nothing happens. I don't send a card or even an SMS or email. But I did think of them, didn't I?



Commission is clear enough. We hear in the News, in Talkbacks and see on the TV every day the sins of commission where burglaries, car thefts and even murder are committed. Mostly, to the relief of law-abiding citizens, the perpetrators are usually caught and committed for trial for their sins.

Now they're really bad things to do, but I don't do those. I might think of it sometimes but that's not like actually doing it, is it? But I guess I do still do things I shouldn't.

Think of my diet, for instance. The Gastroenterologist went to a lot of trouble testing and sampling, then sent me to a Dietician and now I have a list of all the foods I shouldn't eat.

What a relief! No more pains in the tummy - I couldn't believe it was possible. I've had them since I was about ten years old.

But there are some things that I simply crave and shouldn't have. Surely a little won't hurt. Yummy! A little more? Yes, I've eaten things I shouldn't.

Is that really a sin of commission? It can't be; it's such a small thing. Besides, it tasted so good.

In about twenty minutes I have the answer: big pains in my tummy.

This is a good lesson. Maybe that Dietician really knows a thing or two, and because I have gone my own way, I now suffer the consequences.

Is This the End of the Road?
Is This the End of the Road? | Source


The sins of omission are a little bit different, but they do occur - in the family, in the community and even in governments.

  • In the Family: I knew the Wedding Anniversary of one of my Grandsons and his wife was coming. I had it down in my diary, but I did nothing. Now it's too late.
  • In the Community: I know that a family-tree research group I belong to needs someone to help in the library. It's only once a month and I know about libraries and research. I could help, but do I? No, I procrastinate and do nothing.
  • In the Government: At the moment, many cities around the world are becoming burdened with over-population, with traffic snarls and interminable congestions. Of course, part of the answer lies in decentralisation. For example, in my city decentralisation was mooted by one of our government leaders years ago, and there were many discussions about moving some businesses and government departments to Albury-Wodonga on the Victoria/ New South Wales border. But that's all it has been - talk with no action and now changing the infrastructure is going to cost us, the people, billions more.

And we suffer from these sins of omission.


Decisions Need to be Made

It's important that right decisions are made - and these decisions need to be acted on. If we move to action, even in the very small things in our lives, we make progress along the right paths.

As the saying goes: 'No man (and no woman, too!) is an island.'

What we decide to do doesn't only affect ourselves, it affects others. Indecision and inaction can lead us along that road that is paved with good intentions and, as I wrote before, we know where that goes!

If there's something that you should make a decision about and you can't choose, pray to God, tell Him about the problem and then ask yourself,

'What would Jesus do?'

If He would do it then you know that it's really the right thing to do, so no more inaction,



How is your road paved?

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    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 20 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Tamara: Lovely! I think we're all aware of those sins of omission, there always seems to be something that I should have done, but somehow just didn't get around to it. Many blessings to you, too.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 20 months ago

      A timely read for me today, as the day is still new. It does seem that most days I lay my head down at night and examine the day's events and I am aware of these very sins of omission you write about. Praying I will be diligent today to do what is set before me and be mindful of God's will in all.

      A blessed devotion to start my day

      God bless

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 21 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Rolly A Chabot: Thank you. I agree, we do need to stop once in a while and look at ourselves to see just where we are heading. My apology for not seeing your comment before.

      Peggy W.: That is so true. We're so good at procrastinating, or at least, I am, and suddenly it's too late and the opportunity has been missed. Thank you for your comment and also for sharing.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 21 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I think that most of us if we are honest sometimes put things off because there is always tomorrow. The trouble is...tomorrows are not least in this life. This is very thought provoking. I'll be sharing this!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 22 months ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Blossom... what a great hub you have written, helps one stop and take stock of where you have been, what you have done and more importantly what we should be doing. Thank you for your words...

      Hugs from Canada

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      I think it's a reminder for myself! The older I get, the slower I become, so put off things I really should do until it's too late to do them. You're right! We do need to manage our lives so we do the important things at least. Yes, I did those illustrations, so thank you! Thank you for your visit and comments, too.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I'm much better at doing now than I used to be, probably because I'm more aware that time is limited! I'm good at remembering dates and sending cards. I'm good at keeping up with my friends. I'm good at going to see people. But there's plenty more that I put off and shouldn't.

      This is a timely reminder that we act straight away; that way we manage a lot more things in the long run which in turn probably makes our lives easier!

      Some of your illustrations look like paintings. Did you do those? I like them; they're fresh and gentle.

      Thanks for a great read today, Bronwen.


    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      How true! Inspiration surely does come from God, especially the Holy Spirit. Thank you for your lovely comments. Now I absolutely MUST go and complete that hub I started a few days ago!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      The story of my life is littered with good ideas I toss out the window like candy wrappers. Yeah I know I should get busy rewriting that article, but its been a long day and I think I will check my email first. Inspiration comes from God, I am convinced, so our biggest sin is ignoring it. Great hub!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      sgbrown: Yes, we know the right thing to do, we teach our children about it, but when it actually comes to doing it ourselves, that's another matter! I make lists, often early in the morning, even during what should be my Quiet Time, and then tick them off when they're done. However, the things that are harder to do sometimes get left - until another day, or another! Bless you for your comments. I must try harder!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Procrastination is a huge fault of mine. I was making a list of things I need to do each day and I really need to get back to that, it works! I have always told my kids, before you take action, or don't, stop and think...what is the "right" thing to do and do it. I also tell them, "Remember that God is always watching you and he always knows what is in your mind and your heart."

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      AaudreyHowitt: I think we all fail - on the omission side especially. Thank you for coming by and commenting. Bless you.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I find that Omission is where I fail most often---Thank you for this moment to think on that

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      tillsontitan: I know they're more prevalent in my life! It's lovely of you to come by and thank you for your comments.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      I think sins of omission are more prevalent than commission for the common person. You've made such good points about how we just let it go or pass us by.

      As the Nike commercial says, "Just Do It!"

      Well done Blossom, I would have voted awesome as well.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      mckbirdbks: Thank you. Lately I've been writing in cards, addressing and stamping the envelopes, and then there they sit on the hall table waiting for me to take them to the postbox! Oh, dear!

      Vellur: Action is indeed the thing - I must remember my own advice! Thank you, dear Vellur.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Great write, we need to act to do things when we have to. Action at the right time is the best thing to do.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      I used to have good intentions but I gave them up. I liked your illustrations throughout. I also liked your message. I am getting better at sending cards.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      always exploring: Oh, yes, and then don't we know it! I also have good intentions about replying straight away to my hubpages comments, but somehow the hours go by! God bless you, too.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I could relate to this piece, esp. eating something I know is bad for my celiac disease. We all have good intentions but sometimes let them slip away. Thank you for a sweet reminder to act when we feel the need. Blessings...

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      FlourishAnyway: The follow through is so important, and so is that tiny word, 'if'! especially 'if only'! My daughter thinks I'm daft because I make lists of what to do for the day - if only there were more hours! Thank you for your comments on my drawings!

      manatita44: Thank you for the encouragement. I'm glad you like the drawings, my friend, even if the printing is a bit skew-whiff. May God bless you.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      What a clever Hub, Blossom. I like your sign posts too. They make me smile. A wonderful Hub from a wonderful woman. Much Peace.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      It's important to have the follow through. The saddest thing is the idea or opportunity that coulda happened if. Your drawings added much to this hub.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Frank Atanacio: Yes, you certainly got it right! Both ways! I don't like the new set-up either. It was said that it wasn't used, but I used it a lot and I know from my hubs that others did, too.

      Inspired Heart: That's something I'm really good at, too. This message is for myself as much as to share! It truly is only with God's help that we get there.

      billybuc: Yes, sometimes I think it would be a good idea not to have so many good ideas! It's true that we only get one shot at life - sometimes I think it would be easier if we were not given the gift of choice!

      whounuwho: You've never been a procrastinator! Wow! I wish some of it would rub off on me! There are always so many interesting things I could do and it's so difficult to choose as there's only so much time.

      Larry Rankin: Trying is definitely good. At least we get somewhere then. It's when we think it's all too hard and give up that it becomes a problem.

      MsDora: They certainly do cause regrets, especially when we can't go back and put them to rights. The only way we can get there is with that Divine help. Praise God that He is always there when we ask for help.

      AliciaC: Thank you! I'm sure that Christians are not the only ones who procrastinate until the time has gone and it's too late to do anything, especially when it also hurts other people and then we feel so bad about it. Glad you like the illustrations - on a second look, some of that printing is rather woeful - I should have had a second try at some of it.

      denise.w.anderson: Yes, with me it isn't a case of 'always' either, but probably still far too often, if I'm honest! I love that quote. It's just as well that our Father is a forgiving God when we don't hit the mark, and it's such a good feeling when we do!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I would like to have chosen a different response on that last poll. I have lots of good ideas, but I don't always complete them and I don't always procrastinate either. I am kind of in the middle, sitting on the fence. Sometimes I fall toward doing them and sometimes toward procrastinating. It is certainly easy to beat myself over the head, thinking that I am just a sinner after all! My former psychologist put it this way, "Ideals are stars to guide you by, not sticks to beat yourself with!" These words have helped me to default to the side of doing them more often than not!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a thought provoking and valuable hub, even for people who aren't Christians. It's important to act and to do what we believe is right whenever possible. As you say, by failing to act we can hurt others. Thanks for the great advice and the lovely illustrations, Blossom.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Blossom for dealing with this topic. Those sins of omission cause many regrets. We need divine help to carry through with everything we know we should do. Lord, help us!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I always try to do the right thing. But what happens when two people study the same book, and come up with polar opposite ideas of what is right?

      Is it enough to try, or are you also required to guess correctly?

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      I have never been a procrastinator and try to address each task before me as a focused point in my life. I agree that there is a lot of avoidance and there are many reasons behind these. Thanks for the food for thought. whonu

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, I complete a lot of my ideas...not all of them because, well, sleeping is necessary....but I agree with what you are saying. I see more of this...dreamers who never act....activists who never seem to get out of the house but are quite active in their minds.....we only get one shot at it for all its worth. Great message this morning.

    • Inspired Heart profile image

      Yvette Stupart 2 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks BlossomB for your timely reminder. I too see the need to carry through with the things that are priorities in my life but I sometimes procrastinate. But through God's grace we can get better.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      a very good proverb or aphorism.. like the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the road to heaven just the opposite.. did I get it right? or is it hell is full of good meanings and heaven is filled with good works.. Blossoms your hubs always generates stirs.. if I could I would have voted this awesome :)