Aoccdrnig to a rscheearer at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Perhaps you’ve seen this classic piece of “internet trivia” before. It’s been circulating around the internet since 2003.
On first glance, it seems legit. Because you can actually read it, right? But, while the statement contains a grain of truth, the reality is always more complicated.
In fact, there never was a Cambridge researcher, but there is some science behind why we can read that particular bit of jumbled text.
In essence, it works because our brains don’t just rely on what they see. They also rely on what we EXPECT to see.
In 2011, researchers from the University of Glasgow—conducting unrelated research—found that when something is obscured or is unclear to the eye, human minds can predict what they think they’re going to see and fill in the blanks.
Suffice it to say that, while there is some truth to the internet meme, there are several caveats that go along with it as well. For example, “porbelm” is pretty easy to decipher as “problem”. But trying to figure out what “plorebm” actually means could really be a problem for us.
I think the reason we’re able to make sense out of the jumble is that we’re made like God.
God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:26-27 NLT
The Imago Dei is a foundational doctrine of Christianity. That we are all made in the image of God. Not God. But like God. In his image.
The ability to find solid direction in the middle of confusion is God-given. And very much LIKE God.
Confusion is defined as “disorder, upheaval, tumult, chaos, perplexity, bewilderment, and lack of clarity”. Do any of those sound like your day today?
Paul Chappell once said, “Storms can bring fear, cloud judgment, and create confusion. Yet God promises that as you seek Him through prayer, He will give you wisdom to know how to proceed. The only way you will survive the storm will be on your knees.”
Here’s an assist for today:
God is the God of harmony, not confusion, as is the pattern in all the churches of God’s holy believers.
1 Corinthians 14:33 TPT
Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
2 Timothy 2:7 ESV
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
Today, lean into the idea that God has given you the ability to find clarity in the middle of the jumble. You are, after all, made like him and in his image.
Whatever you face today, thank him—yes, even in advance—for helping you choose your next step.