Much Ado About Nothing

You know those situations that create anxiety but later, when you look back at them, you just have to laugh? Here’s something funny that happened to my family about four years ago.

I was standing near the kitchen door, chatting with my dad who was seated in the living room, when we heard a light crashing noise. It was an unusual sound, and somewhat muffled, so I backed into the kitchen, turned on the light and looked around to see if something had fallen. I saw nothing but suddenly heard a rustling noise. It lasted a few seconds and seemed to come from the cabinet under the counter. I froze, listened closely again, and heard the sound again. Wide-eyed, I said to my dad: “I think it’s a mouse!”

Joined by my mother, the three of us quietly listened and heard the sound again—it stopped and started intermittently and it definitely sounded like a mouse was chewing on something like paper or a candy wrapper, and I was pretty sure it was sitting on the top shelf in there.

So we set out a few mouse traps—carefully and quickly sneaking two of them into the cabinet—and decided to leave the cabinet unopened until we were sure the mouse was gone.

The next morning, my mother needed one of her pots, so my parents cautiously opened the cabinet door and got a very big surprise. The commotion had indeed taken place on the top shelf. . .but there was no mouse!

Somehow, the glass cover of one of our frying pans had shattered. The knob had broken off and landed in the pan (the first crash) and then the tempered glass of the cover slowly broke into little bits and fell into the pan (the repeated rustling noises).

???????????????????????????????Boy, did we feel foolish! But we were also relieved and, after a while, quite amused by the whole incident. Not knowing what was really going on in the cabinet, we had become nervous and made unnecessary efforts to try and solve a problem that didn’t exist.

Does that sound familiar? Do you sometimes panic or become anxious about situations in life you don’t really understand or have all the facts about? You can create worst-case scenarios in your mind and wear yourself out trying to figure out how to deal with the crisis you feel certain is headed your way.

This experience reminded me of something Jesus said:

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Whether the truth is pleasant or hurtful, it will always free you. The truth allows you to move forward instead of feeling paralyzed by fear and anxiety. Hold to His teaching. You won’t regret it.

Edited to add: This story also reminds me of the art journal doodle I shared a few weeks ago.


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