I am insanely good at word puzzles. I have a couple on my phone and will play them to decompress. Seeing all those levels go by and seeing all the coins add up is satisfying. I’m a wordy person anyway, so I enjoy the challenge. This is a great thing for me while waiting on children to get out of appointments or before I go to bed.
If I am honest, sometimes I get stuck. I start making up words that sound like they could be legit, but aren’t. Most of the time, when I start guessing, I miss a very easy, obvious word. I get so wrapped up in trying it my way and forcing fake words into crossword squares, that I will miss the correct answer right in front of my face.
Just being honest here, sometimes in my life, I force my way and my false, know-it-all nonsense in some of the easiest of challenges. There will be an obvious answer right in front of my face: GOD. His will, His word, His promises, His power.
I’ll stress or try to manipulate outcomes. I can work at things from every angle and worry that things won’t pan out. I can become obsessive about the outcome and delay the journey.
I will act before prayer. I will react instead of respond. Before I know it, I haven’t factored God into a decision or gone to Him for discernment. I will find myself feeling stuck or in a pickle of a consequence.
Someone will be ugly or say something in the wrong tone and I will hear something sassy come out of my mouth before I can stop it. The thing is, if I pause, breathe, and pray, I can always stop it. Nowhere in the bible does it say that the last word or the slickest comeback are rewarded or encouraged. It does, however, give me the most perfect example of how to deal with adversity: Jesus Christ.
I’m also told to love my neighbor, not call her a heifer. Sometimes when I’m in the grips of self-obsession, heifer is what comes out. Hard to say, “I love you, heifer” and it be received well.
In all seriousness, if I pause to breathe and pray, the love comes before the comeback. The only name-calling that happens is my own call to God. It is then that my emotions are more controlled and my dialogue more intentional, but sometimes I trip over the fake words in my life.
I can even wander places I really shouldn’t be in the first place. There are places that bring me anxiety or anger. Those places are the devil’s playground. I’ll walk right in and choose a swing. I will take the bait.
When I choose the obvious answer, I get solutions a lot faster. The crossword puzzles in my life fill up before my eyes. If I put more God on it and less me on it, problems tend to resolve naturally. If I try to force my will, I stare at blank and wordless tiles, completely drained and exhausted.
It is usually in that moment of complete exhaustion that the obvious word smacks me in the face: GOD. Not gdo or dog or dgo. GOD, dummy. It is also in that moment that I feel relief. Those blank tiles are less daunting. I have the only answer I will really ever need.
We all have our word puzzles, Mama. Life is full of challenges and word games. If we stick together, we can remind each other of the greatest word ever written or entered: God. Sometimes, Mama, we all need reminding. We can remind ourselves and each other what the right answer is. We can just look up while our blank tiles are filled.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved