Letters to Tom — Details

Dear Tom:

Sufi wisdom — “ … take the opportunity to find Allah (God) in the details of the living process of your life.”

So many of us are raised hearing that “ the devil is in the details,” not Allah. I like the Sufi way better. When we look for the devil in life’s details we are easily distracted and mislead. Our minds run rampant with all sorts of imagined consequences, which may have no basis in reality. While if we seek God’s presence in the simplest or smallest of tasks we maintain our focus.

A great athlete pays attention to the smallest of details. A quarterback works on the subtleties of the snap count and taking a clean snap from the center, knowing a play can end before it begins if the simplest of details is not executed properly. You hear time and time again an athlete attributing his success to “extra work on the finer points.” A championship golfer pays attention to how the grass moves toward the sun on a putting surface. A basketball player notices how the ball bounces differently on different hardwood. A baseball pitcher repairs the pitcher’s mound every inning. These details are not drudgery, but subtleties noticed and appreciated. Great talents in every occupation seek details and find advantage where others see the same details insignificant .

In life, if we look for God in each individual, seemingly insignificant aspect of something, a whole new world reveals itself to us. This world is filled with discovery, fascination, and delight. The next time I am faced with a detail I’m tempted to ignore or give short shrift — my natural propensity–I should do “a one-eighty.” I will spend some time acquainting myself with the detail and discovering its individual meaning and relevance.

Your Friend,


About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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