I walked into the eating area of our RV and immediately noticed the blind. My husband had opened it and it was sitting at an angle.
I have to straighten this up, I thought. I reached over to fix it and paused. Was a crooked blind important in the grand scheme of things? Sunlight was entering the room regardless of the angle.
My husband sometimes sets up situations like this as little tests, to see how long it will take me to react and make my correction. This may or may not have been the case, but with this thought in mind, I left the blind as it was – all day!
Rather than being bothered by it not sitting right, I appreciated the open blind allowing light to flood into the space.
Too often in life I have allowed my ideas of how things should be done to impact my day. If something doesn’t sit right with my rules, there must be a problem. In those cases I fail to realize two things.
The first is not everyone has the same rules on basic things such as how towels are folded, the orientation of the toilet paper roll, or the importance of straight blinds.
The second is even more challenging; it’s not all about me! Your ideas are every bit as valid as mine. We can agree to disagree.
After surviving the crooked blind incident, I truly understand the statement Don’t sweat the small stuff!
I have happy memories of playing card games and board games. This enjoyment of games was passed on first to my children and now to my grandchildren.
Recently I pulled out a board game that had been neglected for many years. Nine year-old Emily and ten year-old Logan were excited to play a game their mom had played as a girl.
It had been so long since I’d played Big Deal that I had to learn the rules all over again. Fortunately they were printed inside the lid of the box so we had guidelines to follow. There were more rules than I remembered and it was easy to get confused and forget some of them.
We decided to start anyway and learn as we went. Many mistakes were made and I was grateful for understanding grandchildren. They asked lots of questions and waited for me to look up the answers. The rules were always beside me and they let us know how to play and how to win.
Life also comes with a rule book. It’s called the Bible. Jesus came to show the joy and peace found through following God’s laws. He demonstrated how to play by the rules in order to win the prize of everlasting life.
I still sometimes struggle with or forget some of the rules. Jesus is always beside me to instruct me as I go along. He is the one who makes it possible to play by the rules and win at the game of life.
If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them. (James 1:5 GWT)
My back went up immediately when I read the email. Here was the judgment I’d been expecting since being vulnerable and admitting my problem.
I’d been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming support and encouragement I’d received. Now, this one negative came along and was having a much bigger effect on me than it should. I was upset with myself and the person who sent the message.
Upon reading the email again, I discovered the comment made was neither negative nor positive. It was simply a neutral statement. Since this was a sensitive topic for me my interpretation was negative and I took offense.
The fact is only 7% of communication is the words. I was not getting the 38% that is made up of the tone of voice, inflection and volume. Also missing was the 55% that facial expression and body language represent.
When I read something I need to take into consideration how I’m feeling at the time. My emotions can change the tone of what I read and turn an innocent statement into something offensive.
The same hold true with my communication with others. Sometimes, even with more than the 7%, my intentions are misunderstood. I need to take responsibility for my words and also for how I react to those directed to me.
How about you? Do you also get caught up in the words and your emotions and forget the 7% rule?
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw