Challenges rock my socks!
At work, I do a lot of ‘special projects’. What that basically constitutes of is the most complicated, problematic issues with no resolution. I’m sent ‘problems’ to resolve. The problems aren’t clear and neither is the resolution – its just wrong somewhere, somehow and that’s all anyone knows. THOSE ARE MY SPECIALITY. Its like a grand puzzle with the pieces all mixed up in the box and I get great satisfaction out of putting them upside down, spread out all on the table and rearranging it into the beautiful picture it’s meant to be.
Now that we’ve established my nutzoid-ness, let me also submit that I am a picky weird-o. I love to listen to people speak. I love accents, various localized vernacular, tones, languages… all of it. I can spot a person from Pittsburgh, PA a mile away by the way they pronounce their perfect ‘O’. It is my favorite pronunciation of the often slaughtered vowel.
Word pronunciation – while I’m not great at it myself, I hear almost everything. Why? I have no idea. I’m a freak of nature? Anyway, musically, there are several artists that I love, but equally as many that I can’t bear to listen to simply because of the way they pronounce words. I won’t give names, but one male vocalist writes beautiful songs. The music and words have always moved me, but listening to him sing is, to me, the equivalent to nails scratching a chalk board. I can’t do it… all because of the way he pronounces the word “way.” Isn’t that ridiculous. His voice is wonderful, but its all trumped by that one pesky grate to my last reserve nerve.
Arthur Burk calls this a mesmerizing spirit. When we focus on the one good thing and ignore the bad, i.e. a preacher who can preach a house afire on Sunday morning, but beats his wife and girlfriends during the week. Or the opposite, focusing on the one bad thing and ignoring all the good, i.e. said vocalist above. He gave a fantastic example of a pick pocket distracting you with one hand, causing your focus and attention to be there rather than on his other hand slipping your wallet right outta there. I don’t want to be pick pocketed!!!
How much do I miss by being nit picky?
How much do I overlook because I refuse to call a wrong for what it is?
Not just outward life and relationships, but inwardly as well.
I limit myself because well, once I screwed up on this or that. I limit myself because I wasn’t good at a thing the first time I tried it. Since I didn’t perform it with absolute perfection and it was noticed as being less than absolute perfection, I can never do it again because obviously, I suck.
G-d will never accept me because I sinned and am therefore bad and ultimately beyond repair.
Well, I went to church Sunday, or shul on Saturday. I’ve fulfilled my religious obligation for the week, listened to a sermon. I don’t need to read my Bible for the rest of the week. What, do you want me to read it every day? Isn’t that asking a bit much? Ain’t nobody got time fa that!
Sure I’m saved and going to heaven, I was baptized as a baby and I’m a good person, I do right by people.
Oh I’m covered by grace, I can do whatever and just ask forgiveness on Sunday morning. G-d will forgive me, there’s really no reason to change my lifestyle. Its not 1950 ya know. Everybody does it.
Hmmm – how many of these things have I heard/said/thought? How have I been limited in life, in my relationship with Yeshua and people by slipping into that wrong thinking and coming into agreement with a mesmerizing spirit, allowing myself to be distracted by the weird hand doing ‘something’ that bugs me and missing the thing I’m SUPPOSED to be seeing.
Since it’s already mid-January, we’ll stretch this out through the end of February. I’m challenging myself and YOU, dear reader, whomever you are, to spend time daily from now until the end of February praying and asking G-d to reveal truth to our hearts. To let His light shine on us and deliver us from that mesmerizing spirit and help us to recognize it when it sneaks in.
I’ll be posting in the comments where I’ve noticed myself getting stuck in this and I invite you to do the same.