Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ.

Seeing Things Differently

When was the last time you firmly believed something or thought you understood something, only to find you were completely off-base?

Are you willing to believe your perspective could possibly be wrong?

I have a mentor who always says, “If we lead with our weakness we will never run out of material.” I use that quote as the catalyst for this post. This is just one of many stories in my life where I totally misunderstood something and publicly had to learn the hard way that what I thought was wrong. These moments no longer humiliate me (although some of you may think they should lol) but they are fodder for my own personal growth and hopefully inspiration for someone else’s.

We raised our kids in a town where we had no family or relatives to lean on. We learned quickly that bloodlines are special but friends are also family, regardless of DNA. Although we would have loved to have had family around us, we are so grateful that we learned early on that an open heart, hand and home has more to do with love than blood. We kept each other’s kids, shared vacations and staycations, celebrated holidays, were emergency contacts for one another, sat by hospital beds and shared passwords and alarm passcodes etc… Relationships are risky, blood or no blood, BUT WORTHY BUSINESS. And the risk of being hurt pales in comparison to the love and trust you experience most of the time.

Back to alarm passcodes… We share things like this with people we deem trustworthy and competent. You are about to see how trustworthy and competent do not always go hand-in-hand.

I was the holder of the secret passcode. I took that responsibly very seriously. I knew that if our dear friends were unable to respond to their alarm going off, I was the worthy one who got to rush in with the secret decoder ring and save the day. We all know that most of the time we never have to step into emergency shoes but on the outside chance that we do, we want to be ready and able – right? And most of the time we believe we understand our commission and when called to step up to the plate we are prepared to do just that – right?

But what if what we believe to be ready and able is not ready and able at all?

The day came when their alarm went off and I was the go-to girl who had the privilege and honor to rush in with the secret word. I show up with adrenaline pumping and my hero cape in full swing. I tentatively unlock the door of their sire-blaring home. I hear a phone ringing but I wasn’t going to let that distract me from the mission at hand. I was going to wield my “secret word” like the sword it was and no phone ringing would derail me from my mission. I cautiously, yet boldly, began to walk through the house saying the magic word out loud, “Maime, Maime,Maime…” This went on for sometime, phone still ringing and alarm still blaring. I couldn’t understand why the alarm did not disengage and I was totally surprised when the police came busting through the door looking at me as if I were the intruder.

(Many of you reading right now see my lack of understanding at best and incompetence to ever be entrusted with valuable information at worst. But just in case you still don’t see it, as clearly, I didn’t that day, I will finish out this story of stupidity now:)

I quickly blurted out the secret word once again so they would not continue to think I was breaking in. At which point they asked, “Why didn’t you answer the phone when the alarm company called and tell them the word?”

“How was I suppose to know who was calling?” I reply.

They literally looked at me like I had 5 heads and a cyclops eye. I was a bit offended at their looks and still boldly standing my ground as the one chosen for such a time as this!

“Miss, you have the passcode word so you can answer the phone and let the alarm company know that there is no emergency and then they let us know not to come. What did you think you were to do with that word, other than shout it at us when we came in the door?”

At this point I was either bright red or painfully pale. I recognized my blunder far later than I should have.

Can anyone relate to a moment so embarrassing that you almost fake passing out just to get some sympathy to divert the on-lookers shock over your inconceivable incompetence?

I proceeded to tell them I thought I was suppose to walk through the house saying the passcode. I had no idea I was suppose to answer the phone and tell it to the alarm company. At which point, they put up their guns and probably laughed harder on the job than they had in quite sometime or ever. They proceeded to say that not much surprises them any more but this one definitely did!

So, leading with my weakness …

Can you now see how trustworthy and competent do not alway go hand-in-hand. Our friends totally trusted me with valuable information and rightfully so. I would have taken a bullet for them. But little did they know how much was lost in translation. What they saw as obvious totally escaped me. What they thought needed no explanation clearly meant something completely different to me, regardless of how idiotic I know it is now but I didn’t then.

I write this post for a myriad of reasons.

I hope it was entertaining;

I hope it made you laugh and I hope it made you feel better about any embarrassing moment you have ever had.

I hope I may have given some of you the gift of “going first” or the gift of “me too” but most importantly I pray I encouraged all of us to take an inventory of our lives, not to condemn, but to see if there are places we have completely misunderstood, places where our perspective needed, needs, to change and places where we may have been incredibly trustworthy but just needed a little help flipping the awkward script we had written and replacing it with the real story, the one we won’t get wrong again because we have been brave enough to get in the darn ring, fail, get back up, go again as many times as needed, until we get it right!

So, I ask us these questions once again:

When was the last time we firmly believed something or thought we understood something, only to find we were completely off-base?

Are we willing to believe our perspective could possibly be wrong?

I am up for the challenge. Are you?

I would love to hear some of your stories of how your perspective has changed over the years and I know I have many more to add to this list. In fact, I pray that I continue SEEING THINGS DIFFERENTLY until the day God calls me home or Jesus returns. If we ever get to the place where we think we have it all figured out or that we have the lens that no longer has room to change, then God help us all!

About Katie Wilson

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ. #amwriting #Compel Forgiven and Free Living a life that says: COME AND SEE!

2 Replies

  1. Anonymous

    Katie, this is hilarious and I can just see it! This story beautifully illustrates the deeper truth! We can be totally trustworthy and incompetent – I know I have been! What a blessing grace is! I know that friend still trusts you with their alarm! Keep writing!!!

  2. Katie, this was so well written and highly entertaining. Thank you for sharing and inviting us to be human.

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