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PostHeaderIcon Life’s Knots


Have you ever read the book ‘Maniac Magee’ by Jerry Spinelli?

One of my favorite parts of the story is when Maniac takes on the challenge to untangle Cobble’s Knot. It started out as a baseball-sized, tightly packed, weather-crusted knot. Sounds pretty hard to untangle, right? With patience though, Maniac works until it becomes “a gigantic hairball”. Then, ‘around dinnertime’ he had successfully defeated Cobble’s Knot.

Sometimes, in the course of our life, we can find ourselves in situations that resemble Cobble’s Knot. For a while, it may seem that we won’t be able to untangle it. The mess is too big, and we’ve weaved so many loops to hide the truth.
Let me use a real life example, as somewhat embarrassing as this might be.

When I was 12, I got internet on my school laptop. The deal was, I would take the wifi card out of my computer while my laptop was upstairs. However, it wasn’t long before that became a hassle, because it seemingly made the internet slower and slower. So, my parents and I decided I could leave the card in, with the agreement that I would only do my schoolwork. Having a laptop with internet access in my room, led to me getting hooked on Neopets. (Yes, Neopets. How ridiculously childish, in retrospect. But I was 12.) So, after I completed my lessons, I would spend hours ‘studying’. (This was my choice.) At first, I really was studying. But eventually, I began playing Neopets instead of having my so-called ‘study sessions’. Of course, it wasn’t long before I got caught. Long story short, I broke trust with my parents, my laptop was moved downstairs, I lost all internet privileges for a month, and when I got it back, I could only play Neopets with parental permission. Which meant, maybe once every 2 weeks or so, with my mom watching every move I made. Needless to say, as I became (much) more mature, Neopets lost it’s appeal. (To the extreme relief of my mother.)

As you can see, I slowly entangled myself in a huge knot.

Lying to my parents about my study sessions built the knot. As time went on, that small knot grew as I continued to use my time unwisely, and lie to my parents. When I got caught, that knot was big, seemingly impossible to untangle, and I didn’t know if I would ever escape it. As I began showing my parents that they could trust me again, the knot slowly became the ‘gigantic hairball’ described in Maniac Magee. If you’ve ever tried to to untangle a complicated knot, you know how in the process of loosening them little by little, the knot expands, and almost seems a bigger mess than ever. But I learned that sometimes, things have to get a whole lot worse before they get better. After a long time, I regained all of my privileges, but most important to me, I got my parents’ trust back. And I’ve worked hard not to disappoint them or myself, again.
Different threads

As with my case, and I think in most cases, the majority of life’s knots can be avoidable.

But in order to dodge them, we have to think our actions through ahead of time. Unfortunately, we are not able to expertly untangle our knots the way that Maniac Magee conquered Cobble’s Knot. But we can do it prayerfully, and make our best efforts. And I think in the end, they teach us lessons that will help us grow, and point us down a better path in life.  It’s then that we might see see that in our relationships with God and with others, things are kept in much better order.

But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil. (Matthew 5:37)

~Alexis Grace

A relevant song for you now. My Mama can hardly stand to listen to it, because it’s kind of heavy-metalish.  But if you can stand that style of music, I really like the message in it too. The lyrics display for you.  So ROCK ON. 🙂

♫  LISTEN/WATCH:  Avalanche, by Manafest

2 Responses to “Life’s Knots”

  • Elaine says:

    I learned this very valuable lesson as a teen myself and am now pretty painfully honest. Trust once broken is a very difficult thing to regain. Sounds like you learned that too at an early age. We all make mistakes. Learning from them, being responsible for our own actions and doing better in the future is all that God asks of us. And he forgives us even we have difficulty forgiving ourselves. I try very hard to teach my own children this by my own actions.

    • Alexis Grace says:

      @Elaine: I couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with us, and thanks for the encouragement to avoid regrets! ~Alexis Grace

I would love for you to share your thoughts.

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