Hangups,Errors a And Blunders. The Mistakes We Are Trained To Make.

Nobody is born being an expert. We might all have different aptitudes for various skills but it’s practice that makes perfect. Even if we achieve the skill level of “expert” that doesn’t mean that we are free from simple human error. Suddenly being faced with the undeniable truth that you’ve made a royal screwup is God’s way of keeping us humble. In other words, oopsies are the great leveling force of the universe. Remember, it was experts that built the Titanic and amateurs that built the Ark.

When I saw the collection of lost fishing tackle snagged in the overhead power lines my first thought was that someone’s kids had been on their first fishing trip. This inspired the meme below.

But after some thought I began to consider the phenomenon of “muscle memory”. If you are trained to cast a line with a high arc you might not think to adjust your cast while standing under the power lines. Your reflexes would kick in and your body would react out of pure instinct. You would do the right thing but at the wrong time. This kind of mistake happens to all of us and it happens more often than we care to admit. It also happens during the thought process and when reacting to something that someone else has said or done. I think that’s why it’s important to be quick to forgive. Jesus said to let he who is without sin cast the first stone. While there’s different interpretations of what was being implied in this statement I believe that at least in part Jesus was pointing out that errors in actions often include errors in judgment and nobody is immune from this. The experts in the law were reacting out of reflex without examining the circumstances. It’s the same kind of mistake we all make every day.

Course Corrections

A few days ago I wrote about The Unknown Destiny. I indicated that God has a plan for our lives. But that doesn’t mean that I’m a fatalist. I do believe that God gave us the gift and the right of free will. (Which he will not violate but that’s a topic for another day. ) As beings of free will we have a great potential. . . to make mistakes. Now, there’s an endless list of errors and pitfalls that we can examine. They can all be broken down into two groups.

1. Mistakes made due to bad information or a lack of knowledge.

2. Mistakes made due to a failure to accept good information or gaining knowledge.

On my day job I often joke that erroneous was the ancient god of blunders and that any mistake on my paperwork was due to his mischief. But ultimately we all must take responsibility for our own actions.

So if mistakes can be lumped into two main categories then what about resolutions?

I say there’s two types resolutions as well.

1. Immediate & 2. Delayed.

The advantage of the immediate resolution should be obvious. The sooner an error is uncovered the less energy it takes to correct the problem.

The results of the delayed resolution then would mean expending more time and energy to bring things back into balance. But, there’s a compound problem with the delayed resolution. Human nature is , well…lazy. Because of our limited energy we tend to not want to accept a mistake that takes great effort to resolve. We ignore the problem. We misplace blame. We will do anything it takes to avoid expending the energy it takes to break down the error and start over. The whole time these errors gain more energy and momentum and become harder to resolve.

What does that have to with my photo above? Let’s take a second look at it.

It looks as though the road leads to the mountain and the sunbeam in the background. That’s because I created the illusion that it does with forced perspectives. In reality, the road curves off to the right and makes a circle back to place where I am standing with my camera. If we assumed we could follow the road and reach the mountain we would make a bad choice based on a lack of knowledge. But, if we follow the road and refused to accept truth when we reach the curve we would go around in circles until we give up on our goal or collapse from exhaustion. The sooner we accept the need for a course correction the easier it is to get to our goal.