Picking and Choosing

Picking and Choosing 12/22/2022

I remember learning how to type on those manually operated typewriters where the keys had to be pressed down hard to strike a letter onto the paper. Today’s computer keyboards are so much easier to use, and linked to the computer they have so many added functions: spell check, cut, delete, paste and print. There’s even apps that will read aloud what you have written. These tools help in editing the work.

When I use the reader for my projects, I hear many errors. (I chose a British voice which makes my errors sound even dumber.) When I use the app for already published items, it can be a real shock finding such things as lack of clarity and confusing paragraphs. To fix that problem, Patty has recently become my Editor-in-chief and usually finds questionable statements or unproductive attitudes. She will ask questions whether I meant to say this or that. It has been beneficial to have a second pair of eyes.

When I first started to read the Bible there were passages which I did not understand. From a cynical perspective, I could have considered them errors and contradictions, but I chose to be open-minded in order to learn. Negative opinions are conjured up in people’s minds from prejudices and ill conceived doctrines they may have heard from religious leaders who we assume know their stuff. This passage of the Bible explains the conundrum quite well: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8. Also, this, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” Proverbs 3:5. It’s the starting point to know truth.

Now, the Bible is not like a regular computer Document. It’s closer to a PDF where the author has chosen editing is not allowed. Individuals cannot use the cut, delete, or paste functions… Well, anyways, people aren’t supposed to use them with Bible study… But we do try, don’t we. We pick and choose what we like and ignore what we don’t. It is much like many simple things in life-like buying a car and deciding its options. As for the Political and Social arenas… “Lions and Tigers and Bears, O my!” The less a person knows about something, the louder and more often they seem to shout their opinions. Shakespeare wrote, “Me thinketh thou protesteth too much!” The Bible is not a car we drive, nor a philosophical treatise of opinions.

Theologians with Doctor of Divinity and far too many people who shout from church pulpits and college lecterns can be the same way. Regarding the things of God written in the Bible, even though publishing multi-volume works, they are mere novices, having unreliable insights. If they know so much, why is there no universal agreement from their studious viewpoints? The answer “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way…” Isaiah 53:6; and again,“…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…”

As I recall, Jesus’ Disciples and Apostles were ordinary working class folks, and they eventually understood clearly. Even Paul worked with his hands as a tentmaker whenever necessary and he wrote lots to help us understand.

Our own mindsets, the thinking we seem to be so locked into, are impractical and become roadblocks, closed doors, blinders. We walk as hikers in unfamiliar terrain, thickets, rocks, uneven ground… We become lost, looking for food and water, and reception on our phones, landmarks seem to have disappeared, and it’s getting dark… Are there predators around?

One should assume so.

Again, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray…” We all need to be found. Jesus is called the Good Shepherd. You might want to start by giving Him a shout … “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13.

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between