Have you ever looked at a word that, although you know it’s spelled correctly, just doesn’t look like it should? Words that you’ve read literally thousands of times and never given a thought to before? Sometimes that happens to me; words sneak up on me as I write them (or think them in my head) and all of a sudden I start to doubt myself.
Those are a couple examples of words I’ve read or written in the past few days, and even though I know, I know, I know, I KNOW they’re spelled perfectly, they just look…. wrong. For believe, I might say the “i before e, except after c” or spell out beautiful in my head as “b-e-a-UTe-if-ful” just so I am certain that it’s 100% correct.
Truthfully, I’ve always been a pretty decent speller. English, grammar, and literature were my strong suits in school instead of sciences or maths, so when I read or write something that I am absolutely positive is spelled the way it’s supposed to be spelled, but somehow, I weirdly think it’s wrong, then uncertainty creeps in. Not big fear, but… doubt. Little thoughts that pull me off track and cause me to focus on something other than what I should be focusing on. I become so bothered about the word itself that I lose sight of the larger context of what I’m trying to read, or if I’m writing, what I’m attempting to convey.
It occurred to me the other day that this is the way the enemy works. He sometimes succeeds in distracting me from God’s ultimate purpose by throwing a subtle curve ball my way. Usually, I’m going about my normal business of the day, when out of the blue, something small morphs into a major catastrophe. Not because it actually is a catastrophe, but because I’ve made it one. And I’ve made it one because I’ve listened to the voice of the enemy instead of God the Father.
For instance, because we’ve got our house on the market, I’m spending a lot of time doing maintenance on it. You know, painting trim, cleaning out cabinets & closets, vacuuming up dog fur, giving things away to either friends or charities. So even though I think I have a handle on a day, and my house is fairly picked up and clean, when I get a call that someone’s coming to look, I just get SO stressed by wanting it to look perfect. Will it ever be perfect? No.
Yet I make it into something bigger than it really is. I’m so focused on the minutiae – sparkling counters and fur-free carpets – that I lose sight of the big picture, which ultimately, is that the house will sell to the right person at the right time, regardless of perfectly wiped down kitchen counters.
The same goes for oh…, lots of things!
Worrying that my kids will get home safe (small potatoes) from work/school/movies/friends’ house/overseas when I should be grateful that they’re happy and healthy (super big picture!).
Stressing about the Internet not working again, when in reality, it’s only been out for 20 minutes. But, my gosh! I have to pay bills right now!
Worrying about that mysterious sound that my car is making, but discounting the fact that it gets me to where I need to go.
Little meltdowns that ultimately waste my time and energy.
And for what?
I’m looking at things through such a limited perspective, that even when things are right and good, I just can’t see it. I’m leaning on my own understanding, not His.
Even though I’m mistakenly seeing the spelling of “right” words wrongly, it doesn’t mean the words themselves aren’t correct. And while I might find myself looking at my circumstances as if I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time, it might, in fact, be exactly where God wants me to be.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.