After a month of living with sore ears, I finally made my way to the urgent care clinic for the SECOND time this month. The doctor came in, grinning from ear to ear (no pun intended). One look in my left ear, and he said, "That looks like it hurts!"
Later that day, I went to a specialist at the Ear, Nose, and Throat center.
My left ear was the healthy one.
Twenty dollars later, my right ear was ready to go, stained purple from the medicine she put in.
We are all limited in our perceptions. The first doctor didn't have the knowledge to diagnose my problem. He knew what he needed to know; he listened to my symptoms and prescribed me medication accordingly. But he did not have the specialty to investigate my ear closely and see exactly what was wrong. He was going to get rid of the symptoms. The second doctor I saw wanted to get rid of the problem.
Many of us perceive "symptoms" well. Symptoms are the visible and/or perceivable aspects of our lives. I mean, some people don't perceive anything, but usually symptoms are easy to see.
It's always hard to see what's creating the symptoms - what's making us do the things we do, and be the things we are. It takes someone who's been there. It takes someone who is an expert in that area. Those are hard to find.
Until then, I'm going to try to keep my perceptions to a minimum. I think it's healthy to be observant. We need to know what's going on around us. I also think it's good to make perceptions, if you happen to be perceptive (which I am). But I think we should be careful to subscribe a prescription based on a perception of a symptom, rather than a knowledge of the problem.
God is really the only one who can identify the problem. Sometimes he shows us the problems, but most of the time we're left to unravel symptoms. All we have is what we see and perceive in light of what we know to be true. We have to trust God to guide us in our decisions we make based off of the perceptions and conclusions that we draw.
Until He shows us, I think we should leave the diagnosing up to Him and avoid putting purple dye in the wrong ear.