Lab Safety Lesson


Morning, All—

Recently we finished a mandatory six-week lab safety course. Before the course started, I was kind of groaning inside, thinking, “This will be a waste of time. After 20 years in the lab, if I don’t know this stuff already, I never will…” But I was wrong. It was time very well spent, and we learned a lot. It was sobering.

Here’s one thought that has stuck with me. One man was recommending that we imagine worst case scenarios—reasonable, even if unlikely—and picture them happening. Then we were to picture ourselves saying, “If only I had ____” and fill in the blank. Then we were to do the things now that we imagined we would wish we had done.

Example: A small fire breaks out in the lab. It encounters a nearby bottle of highly flammable liquid. A massive fire starts. It causes $100,000 worth of damage; the lab is out of operation for weeks; several years worth of irreplaceable data are lost from files and computers. I think: “If only I had stored the flammable stuff in the fire-proof cabinet like I was supposed to. If only I had backed up critical data onto CDs and stored them in a separate location.” Then I get up from my desk and move all flammables into the cabinet now and back up the critical data now. That kind of thing.

It’s been hitting me this morning. If the children of darkness can show some measure of forethought and responsibility and proactive behavior, why not more so the Children of Light? If we are to be a Prophetic People, what excuse could we possibly have for poor habits and oversights that even a little foresight would expose as careless and sloppy?

I would exhort you (and me) to take a prayerful inventory of our environments for their spiritual safety (and physical, too, if necessary). Can we reasonably foresee that some spiritual disaster could come upon our loved ones “on our watch”? (I’m not talking about being fearful or overbearing or paranoid, obviously—simply advocating Wisdom.) Internet? Ungodly TV (shows, commercials)? Reading matter? Ads? Unwholesome friendships? Bonding with ungodly associates or relatives? Addiction to shopping or food or…? If I can picture a precious saint or child being destroyed by something like this, then I need to take the steps now that I would have wished I would have taken if the disaster were to happen. In peace and without melodrama or over-reaction, but with seriousness and responsibility.

Surely that’s part of moving from being a “child” to a “father” (or mother)—1 John 2.

For your and my consideration and action, as needed.

Love, dan
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