Excuses -- Prologue / by Michael Nichols

Think back to the last time you were in an uncomfortable position. I remember almost a year ago learning to dance for the first time. It was... very... very... ahhh! The tall, lanky guy that I am wasn't going to have it. I would much rather have gone skydiving with a rubber balloon as a parachute. Oh, did I mention that the one who taught me how to dance was absolutely gorgeous? Well, now you know, and that has always been somewhat intimidating to me, so I was baffled when it happened.

If you know me, you know that I never expect good things to happen. Well, guess what! That was a fantastic experience. I didn't know how to dance, but she taught me well enough, and I didn't step on her toes -- not once! It was so much fun to learn and to do. My comfort zone had been invaded, but she pulled me out of it, broadened it. If she hadn't been so persistent, though, I never would have dared to try. I'm glad, now, that she did.

Unlike my previous statement, though, parachuting with a rubber balloon is nothing like dancing -- not even slightly -- but I was that prepared to escape the situation as quickly as I could. I would have said I had a peg leg if it weren't obvious how fat of a lie it would be. I try not to make it a habit to lie, either, but I can't say I never do, and when I do, I can always say I regretted it fully, which is the power of the excuse.

This polymorphic beast has been around since the beginning of time. It was within Adam and Eve along with their guilt when they went into hiding from God, and it is with us today when we are presented with uncomfortable situations of varying gravity. Let me be clear -- excuses and reasons are two very different things, and in the end, only one will keep you alive.

NEXT -- PART 1: THE INVISIBLE CRUTCH