Sunday’s Wisdom #99: Consequence

“Actions have consequences.”
– Teddy Conrad, Nashville
Season 4, Episode 3, “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye”

It’s a simple truth, hard and unyielding, as truths tend to be.

Teddy Conrad has made mistakes, some of them significant, but until this point in the series, he’s generally done right, the best he knows how. Then he let made some seriously bad calls which got him into trouble. Most tragic, he kept making things worse and worse for himself simply by trying to avoid the consequences of what he had already done. Now, in this scene, he’s in prison, awaiting trial for his crimes. He held out some hope that he could wriggle out of this, too, but then he learned how his daughter was acting out in his defense. That proved the one thing he could not bear: his innocent daughter fighting for his innocence, as she believed, when he knew he was guilty.

So, for her sake, he stopped fighting, and manned up to accept the consequences of his actions. Part of that was the heartbreak, even the outrage, of his daughters. Part of it was the loss of his freedom. Part of it was simply learning that he could not outrun his choices. He tried to escape all of these these so many times, and all he did was dig his grave deeper. In the pain he was responsible for inflicting on his daughters’ hearts, he found the truth.

You can choose your actions, but you cannot choose the consequences. All you can do, at that point, is either make things worse by trying to avoid them, or simply accept them, and take responsibility for your life.

I could not begin to count the number of stories, real and fictitious, where so much pain could have been avoided if people had simply understood this. It breaks the heart, and the home, and the community.

It is my determination that, whatever I do, I will never find myself just trying to avoid the consequences of my actions.

Which, I guess, just means I’ll have to be careful about which actions I choose. 🙂

See, it goes the other way too. When we do bad, bad things come to us, yes. But when we do good, good things are sure to follow as well.

And isn’t that an encouraging thought? 😉

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