No Way Around but Through | #MyFridayStory №246

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Gravity doesn’t care if you don’t believe in it.

I love maths. I’m not good at it, but I love it. I love it for its lack of wiggle room. There’s always only one right answer. Anything less or more than the exact number is wrong, regardless of how small the difference is. It is clear whether you are right or wrong. There’s no use debating or arguing about the rules of maths, they are concrete.

Like most children, my Parents started teaching me how to read, write and do basic arithmetic even before I started school. I loved reading and writing and being creative, sketching and building models. I enjoyed arithmetic but had a mental block around doing times tables. My older Brother tried to make learning them a game, but I struggled to grasp the concept.

There is no easy way to learn your times’ tables other than by mentally locking them in. My brother drew up a spreadsheet on a large piece of paper. He laid out all the tables, from 2 until 12. All the answers left blank for me to answer. As I progressed from the 2-times table to 3 and 4, I felt the anxiety building up. I got past the 5-times tables and looked at where I still had to go — all the way to the 12-times table!

I started crying.

Your times’ tables are cast in concrete and you’ll need to know them mentally off the top of your head — to be accepted. My teachers at school further reinforced my anxiety by singling out the children that couldn’t grasp their times’ tables. I had such a huge desire to also throw up my hand with the answer to a mental sum the teacher called out. The disdain I felt for not being swift on mental arithmetic left an indelible mark on my psyche.

Learning your times-table and being able to do basic mental arithmetic is important. It will stand you in good stead throughout your life. Anything worth learning is going to be tough to grasp, but that’s exactly what makes it worth it. For something to be valuable, it must be scarce and rare. Gaining skills and knowledge that others are avoiding will set you apart.

As time went by after high school, I thought back on that incident a few times. I could never grasp why I cried. Was it because I thought I wasn’t good enough? Or was it in pure frustration of not ‘getting’ the concept, like my Brother and so many others? It wasn’t until recently that I could place my finger on what the cause of the crying was.

I cried because there was no wiggle room. It’s going to be tough. And there’s no way around it only through it.

God is the same way. With Him, there’s also no wiggle room. The boundaries are clear and finite. There is only one rule. And it’s so simple, an infant gets it.

Love.

We cry here too because we get it wrong and it’s tough. People getting it right are scarce and rare.

And those that do are loved, treasured and valuable indeed.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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