Saturday, April 16, 2011

Perception Deception

One of the ways I know God is speaking to me is that He keeps bringing the same question or word to my mind until I sit down and follow His lead. This week the word is “perceive.” It all started when Emily and I were laughing about my van and its many noises. I was telling her that the squeaks must scare people because now people seem to scurry across the street much quicker these days when they are in front of me. She said, “Mom! It’s not the squeaking! It’s the sound of the engine revving like you are going to run over them!”

I’m the only one who is still willing to drive the van so I’m only used to the interior noises. Apparently, it is idling high and sounds like I’m on the verge of road rage to pedestrians. I began to think about other misperceptions of the Howell family.

Once when Wes was in the Army, we were being transferred from Ft. Bragg to Ft. Lewis. We went to Las Vegas on the way. With all of the lights and things to see, Wes incorrectly perceived the slope in the white sidewalk to be an entrance into The Mirage. Much to the dismay of the Asian sightseers with their brown sandals, white socks, and expensive cameras, he had no other option but to turn left onto the sidewalk. When I saw their faces and heard the string of foreign obscenities, I dove to the floor to spare my dignity.

To fall in line with his day of incorrect perceptions he belted out, “What are you doing in the floor?!? Get up here! I look stupid up here alone!” How someone sitting in the passenger seat hysterically laughing at him could somehow make him look intelligent as he drove through the Asians is beyond me. I correctly perceived that he could look stupid alone or we could look stupid together. Either way, a personal sacrifice of my own dignity would not alter his perceived intelligence in any way, shape, or form.

With all of the fallacies of our understanding of even the simple things, there is no wonder God felt the need to give us Proverbs 3:5:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Even though He often reminds me of Proverbs 3:5, I still find myself fretting over the what-ifs or trying to imagine a plan that works all of our circumstances out for our good. Thankfully, God is helping me to grow stronger at resisting the thoughts that go against His Word.

In light of our family’s perception track record, the thought of depending on our own understanding makes our driving issues look intelligent.  We’ve actually made God’s Proverbs 3:5 case for Him. How can such limited minds, however self-imposed some limitations may be, correctly perceive the detailed plans of such a limitless God?


  1. Satan wants us to perceive him as a lamb...I'm thankful we can can rely on God for our perception. Loved your family's stories.


  2. We stayed at the Mirage a few years ago. Driving in Vegas is a nightmare. I can see how he would get confused. Things are certainly not always what they are perceived to be. Satan is the master of deception. That's why there are so many warnings in the Bible. Thank you for sharing this insight.