Assumption Versus Reality

I have driven the road from Phoenix to Flagstaff to Albuquerque and then up to Colorado Springs numerous times over the 32+ years.  It was in 1985 that we moved to Scottsdale and have gone back to my roots regularly to visit my family.  There is a place outside Flagstaff about 60 miles that I have passed over the years and have never stopped.  It’s called the Petrified Forest National Park.  It can be seen from the road as there are several trees and a couple of buildings.

I assumed that someone found a couple of petrified trees and put them in the buildings off the road and tried to get you to stop to see the tree or a couple of trees that had been petrified.  Needless to say I never stopped because of my assumption.  Who would want to stop only to see the petrified trees in a museum?  I wouldn’t and so I never stopped.  Not until Nadine expressed her inquisitiveness and wanted to stop this last trip so I obliged.  It would only take a few minutes and a maximum of 30.

Come to find out the building was just the start of a road that meandered thru 17 miles (one way) of fascinating places of petroglyphs and petrified forests that blew my mind.

There were these big logs that had fallen down and became petrified over thousands of years (pictures on the bottom).  Then there were these huge logs in the middle right picture that were taller than Nadine when she stood next to them.  In washed out ravines were numerous pieces of petrified trees that had accumulated as a result of rain that washed the trees down the slopes.  We spent over 3 1/2 hours at the petrified park and could have spent more time.

What I assumed to be the case turned out to be something entirely different.  How many times do I (we) make assumptions of what someone is about to say and turn them off because we think we know what we will hear?  How often do we assume what the end result will be and never travel down the road of investigation to find out that we were so wrong in our initial thought process?  Do we make assumptions of what someone will be based on their dress or the kind of car they drive and never find out who that person really is by doing some investigative questioning?  Assumptions are deadly as I found out with my assumption about the petrified forest.

On this journey, our minds will create many assumptions about events, situations, challenging issues, and people that we encounter.  Our job is to cut away those assumptions and take the first step of investigation.  Who knows whether we might find something that blows our mind.


About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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