"The truth is simple; it is obvious, and it works....look for ways that you may more fully tap into the gifts that you have been given." -- Alan Cohen
This is my vacuum cleaner:
I was using it today when a string, unbeknownst to me, got sucked up and wrapped around the beater bar causing it to stop working. I cleared the string, but it still didn't work. I looked for a belt that might have come off the track, but could not see one. Now what? I was just about ready to take it to my husband to see if he could fix it when I noticed something I'd never seen before:
On the right-hand side that little red button all by itself...underneath it says "belt reset". Ah hah! I found a pencil, stuck it in the hole, pressed the button, and Voila! It worked again.
How often do we not see the solution right under our noses because we aren't paying attention or have some agenda we're fixed on? I've had that vacuum cleaner for several years, but until I ran into a problem I hadn't noticed that button. Of course, the fact that I noticed it today is because I had that quote fresh on my mind because I'd been using it to help me find answers to some other problems on my mind. I've been trying to "see" with new eyes, if you will. Too often we get stuck in a rut and try to apply the same solutions to the same problems with the same unfortunate results. That's why the problem still exists. Rita Mae Brown in the Basic Text for Narcotics Anonymous (not Einstein as is often thought) said it in a different way, "Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results." Using the same solution to fix a problem is fine if it works, but if it doesn't you must try something different. It reminds me of a toddler trying to fit a square block into a round hole and getting so frustrated that he gives up while the solution--the round piece--was right in front of him.
Being "open minded" helps a great deal to see things differently. Too often people, because they fear their principles will be compromised if they try to see things differently, carry this closed-minded thinking over into other areas of their lives--like problem solving. It would help us all to gain a new perspective if we'd just allow for the possibility that solutions can sometime be quite obvious if we'd just get our noses out of the way.
Father, thank you for this new perspective on problems. They are, after all, ways for us to expand our thinking, learn new and better ways to do things, and may even open doors to new opportunities.
Update: A few days ago I had wanted to write about that quote concerning the problems I was using it to solve, but those problems weren't "photographable". I've just realized that my vacuum cleaner problem was the answer to that problem.
Link to scripture: http://bible.cc/matthew/13-15.htm
Take action: Are you open-minded?