This past weekend my family and I drove to a wedding that I was to officiate. On the way, we stopped for lunch at a Waffle House. It wasn’t terribly busy, but it was a bit hectic with servers scurrying here and there shouting orders and laughing loudly. There was even some quasi-entertainment as the cook took a break from the hashbrowns and bacon to scrub the floor – now that’s multi-tasking.
We placed our order and sipped coffee until the mid-day breakfast fare arrived. All was in order, but we had an extra, unrequested waffle in the mix. Our server apologized, said we wouldn’t be charged for it and that we could box it up and take it with us when we left. As she walked away, the philosopher in me emerged and I declared: “You can’t unmake a waffle.”
Admittedly, I was impressed at my own wit and insight. I even threatened to use that statement in the wedding ceremony. My wife and daughter vetoed the idea. Still, as I think about the declaration, it is, at least, mildly profound. It is true: You can’t unmake a waffle.
There are many things in life that when done or said cannot be undone or unsaid. How many times have you thought, “Oops – I wish I hadn’t done that” or “I wish I hadn’t said that”? Both our actions and our words have consequences. Knowing that, we should consider carefully the things we do and say. Just because you have the freedom and the ability to do something, doesn’t mean it is wise, just, fair, or good. As believers, the law of love should govern the things that we do and the words that we say. You can’t erase a deed done or a word said any more than you can unmake a waffle.
At the risk of sounding childish or, even worse, pompous, perhaps we could keep the image of that extra waffe sitting on the slick laminate surface of a Waffle House table in mind as we live each day. Perhaps the expression “You can’t unmake a waffle” could become a thought ever-echoing in your brain to constrain you from hasty actions or hurtful words. Who knows? I might even get t-shirts printed up as a helpful reminder… or maybe rubber bracelets with YCUAW on them. I’ll keep you posted on that.