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The Book Won't Hold It All: An Untold Moment of Truth

An unspoken moment of truth. It's interesting how we always see the final result of a story, but do not always see what happened in the beginning or in between. For some odd reason this topic took me way back to elementary school. I reflected on the time when I won the spelling bee in my class and was chosen to compete against others in the school. A proud moment in time indeed.

After winning in the class, I was taken to another designated location to compete against other students. There I was spelling away, asking for words to be repeated, and asking for definitions just like we were taught to do. In a room filled with other proud spellers. You could see and feel the emotions all over the room. The students stood in expectation, waiting for the next word. Words filled our minds. Our hearts raced and our breathing shifted from mild to heavy. Our eyes and ears were wide open as we tip toed in our minds in attempt to not make the mistake of misspelling a word. As we know, the rule of the game is if you misspelled words, you could be eliminated from the competition.

I was still in the game, bouncing words back and forth. A proud moment indeed. One of the highlights in the spelling bee is the student who can spell large words, and the waiting audience sit at the tip of their seats wondering if the word will be spelled correctly. I don't remember who the other students were, but I do remember the teachers who participated in the competition. My turn came up again and I was given my word. An easy word. I misspelled it. I immediately knew I made a mistake. How could I miss an easy word? I was prepared and was doing well in the competition. I couldn't tell the prompter that I didn't mean to say the letters that flowed out of my mouth. In my head I spelled it correctly. Out of my mouth, I spoke so fast and misspelled the easy word.

One teacher's response was of surprise and what appeared to be a moment of sorrow for me. My time was up and I was eliminated. I proceeded to my seat and waited for the competition to end and the winner to be announced. My initial reflection of this period of time was that I lost the competition. What about the fact that I made it to the round to compete against others in the school. That was an accomplishment to be proud of.

That moment of truth, a moment forgot and tucked away, may be a small life lesson. That truth may not have been deep enough to mention at all to some. However, that truthful moment offered so many concealed lessons. Maybe you've had a similar experience or maybe you've taken time to recognize the life lessons around you. What's your untold moment of truth?

There is a lesson in every failure. The truth is that my initial disappointment was that I let the teacher down who cheered me on, followed by disappointment in myself for missing the easy word. I lost that round, but the truth is that there were several other students who didn't even make it that far. Even with the loss in that round, I still had victory. I had victory in every word spelled correctly. Count the victories hidden in your failures.

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