I dropped my phone in the paint tray. Never have I so willingly plunged my hands into paint. Never before have I run my phone towards water.
We have the ways by which we do life, and then we have the exceptions.
When it comes to phones, the rule is, Do NOT submerge in water.
“Stay away from the water”
But there I was, rushing my IPhone 4S to the water,
Rinsing, washing, rinsing, washing, and then rinsing and washing some more,
Literally aiming that stream of hot water INTO the phone’s portals.
It was the strangest thing to find myself doing the exact thing we know we are NOT to be doing.
The exception of course: where said phone is nearly completely submerged in paint.
Half-way through the process I exclaimed, “I cannot believe I am running my phone under water!”
Inexplicable action, that saved my phone.
If I had stuck to the hard and fast rule – Stay Away From Water – my phone would now be encased in a hard coat of paint, never to recover again.
While rules present useful parameters and generally good ways to be doing life, they also generally fall short sooner or later.
Rules are static while life isn’t.
A Police Chief said it well, “Rules are for fools while common sense is for people.”
I am reminded that the art of life isn’t in the rules, its in the exceptions.
‘Exception’al living is about knowing when to break the rules.
It’s about knowing the bigger picture and serving that, orienting to that.
Rule-living can be pretty small and petty, increasingly narrow and small-minded.
While rule keeping is predictable and controlled, its far too easy to become encased in hard, judgmental paint-like veneers.
Life on the other hand, to be served well, must expand and reach, to stretch and find new grace and fresh manner of being.
Rules will never do this.
After its very hot and thorough washing, my phone went to live in a bucket of rice.
We didn’t know if it would recover or not. Would it work?
Taking a full 48 hours for all the water to be absorbed by the rice and removed from the phone, I am happy to report that all appears A-Okay.
And while the goal will never be to plunge a phone into paint ever again,
I am very glad that exceptions are available to us at any time.
Exceptions will always be counter-intuitive,
But by them we are stronger, and life has more give.