Doing Everything Exactly Wrong

I’m reading a book to my daughter that mentions a bunny with a nose that wiggles.  I learn that a bunny wiggles her nose for a very curious reason.  It’s not to help her breathe, smell, or provide any obvious help.  Apparently, a rabbit wiggles her nose only when she’s attentive.  The more interested a rabbit is in something, the faster her nose wiggles.

A thrilled bunny, caught in wonder, wiggles her nose.

My daughter turns to me and says, “Mom, am I doing it?”  She’s right up against my face, her nose touching mine.

I lean back and observe her.  She’s moving everything except her nose.  “Sweetheart, you’re moving your eyebrows up and down, not your nose,” I tell her.  She then puffs her cheeks, puckers her lips, wrinkles her chin, and even blinks her eyes rapidly.

But she can’t get the nose to wiggle.

She focuses, going cross-eyed looking down upon her nose.  I hold her face, offer some advice, and wait. I consider the task before her and realize the difficulty of mastering that particular movement.  She does it exactly wrong as part of learning the skill.  By a process of elimination, she figures it out. Finally, she moves her nose and her little nostrils flare a few times.   

This won’t be the last time we go about getting it right by getting it all wrong first.  How many times in my own life have I done everything exactly wrong on my way to figuring it all out?

Doesn’t God hold my face close, waiting with me–patiently directing– as I get it right?  My little one, that curious bunny hopping about, wiggling her nose, reminds me that living with flair means I sometimes do everything exactly wrong as I explore this great world with wonder.  And that helps me get it right eventually.

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  1. Yes. This has been so true in my life, especially in terms of choosing a career path. Now that I'm a teacher, I laugh to think that I could have ever been happy in a cubicle, a restaurant, or an insurance office. I've heard it said that there are no mistakes. I'm not sure I fully agree with that philosophy, but it does seem to ease the pain or frustration I feel when I get it all wrong on my way to all right. =)