Sunday, July 5 2020 - 6:50 AM
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Paralysis of Analysis

“You have ‘paralysis of analysis,'” said Mr. Kendall, my 8th grade science teacher after an hour of sitting with me. I was supposed to have decided my topic for my entry to the citywide science fair weeks before that conversation. But every time I came up with a topic, something made me change my mind. Eventually Mr. Kendall chose the topic for me. My affliction, however, never went away.

I recently thought about Mr. Kendall’s diagnosis of me this morning when I was cleaning out my junk draws. That’s right. You read that correctly: junk draws (plural). There is one in particular that is dedicated to greeting cards. And it’s not like I buy greeting cards in bulk or go crazy when there’s a greeting card sale. All of these cards were purchased for a specific purpose. There are the Christmas cards that I never sent out, the thank-you cards that are just sitting there, and the Valentine’s day cards that may never see the inside of a mail carrier’s bag.

Why are all these cards unsent? The answer is simple: I can never think of the cleverest thing to write in them. Sure, I can think of something clever to write, but is it the cleverest? Is it the best way to share what I feel with the people that I love? Will they open the card and have their lives automatically changed by the eloquence of my words?!

As I sat looking through my unsent cards, I came to a realization. My loved ones don’t care if I sent them “the cleverest” card. They just want to hear that I love and care about them. So what was really on the line was my pride. I wanted others to compliment me on my eloquence and thoughtfulness, as if what I wrote on a greeting card could forever confirm or deconfirm my belief that I have a way with words. That’s a lot of pressure on a poor little greeting card!

As humbling as it was, I’m thankful for this realization. So many times I’ve stopped myself from doing the things that I love, and what I believe God has called me to do, because of how I fear others will receive it. My prayer is that from now on, I will heed the advice of the writer of Colossians:

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17, NIV).

Jael Amador writes from New York, New York.

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About Jael Amador

Jael Amador

writes from New York, New York.

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