The Arrogance of Ignorance

A fool starts out by talking foolishness and ends up saying crazy things that are dangerous” (Ecclesiastes 10:13 God’s Word Translation©).

While reading “Rationality” by Steven Pinker (2021) this truism haunts me:

It seems the most opinionated people are the ones who know the least about the topic being discussed.

They:
Are too lazy to study and research;
Willfully dismiss any information which challenges their opinion;
Base conclusions on their ideology instead of the facts;
Swallow conspiracy theories which tickle their ears;
Blindly follow anyone who inflates their egos;
Are awed by teaching which is complicated and full of special elite knowledge;
Are loyal to those who condemn others and justify this immoral and anti-social behaviour.

I turned my attention to study, to explore, and to seek out wisdom and the reason for things. I learned that wickedness is stupid and foolishness is madness” (Ecclesiastes 7:25 God’s Word Translation©).

Example

Make your speech, behavior, love, faith, and purity an example” (1 Timothy 4:12).

I Don’t Look Back

“The things that I once considered valuable, I now consider worthless for Christ” (Philippians 3:7 God’s Word Translation©). In my lifetime I have accomplished many things. With that I have also suffered much, almost to death.

Last night at the fire pit this became physically real. The moon rose. The stars twinkled. Mars glowed brightly high in the sky. Unnecessary records ascended to them as smoke.

Another step was taken on the road toward the Celestial City as all that personal history finally became “history”. “Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don’t look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 God’s Word Translation©).

The achievements, the pain and persecution, can distract a person from the truly vital things that are eternal. Therefore, what I did, or didn’t do, what I have or lack, or what was done to me has become “worthless because I’m much better off knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8 God’s Word Translation©).

Living in the moment is more radical than I had considered. In the moment there is no past to grieve, no future for anxious anticipation. Instead, “Faith knows the power that [Jesus’] coming back to life gives and what it means to share his suffering” (Philippians 3:10 God’s Word Translation©).

Jesus is the Eternal Moment Who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6 God’s Word Translation©). Souls are eternal; not possessions, and the prideful and painful parts of the past.

Every Morning

“Certainly the faithful love of the Lord hasn’t ended; certainly God’s compassion isn’t through! They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 CEB

Gift Given Not Gained

You have eternal life and peace on earth by what God does, not by what any human does; it is God’s gift [not a badge you earn].” Ephesians 2:8 (my paraphrase)

A Good Model

Painting of Saint Anthony, a part of The Visitation with Saint Nicholas and Saint Anthony Abbot by Piero di Cosimo, c. 1480, Wikipedia

“Antony [c. 12 January 251 – 17 January 356] gathered the best traits from others. He copied…

self-restraint…

cheerfulness…

gentleness…

night devotions.

Antony remembered the love he observed, pondering it and attempting to imitate the best virtues of each person he met. People called him ‘God’s friend’ ”
August 3, By Way of the Desert, Bernard Bangley (Editor), 2007

It is hard to hug from a wheelchair…

A little boy, named David, had come to the home with his kindergarten class. He stood in front of the old man who introduced himself. “My name is David.”
The little boy replied, “So is mine.”
The man’s eyes opened widely and his face shone as though ignited by a holy fire. “No way!” was all he could say.
He was answered with a nod.
The man began to tell his same-named visitor about life on the farm where he was born. The cows and pigs and chickens, and of course, the border collie Rowdy who not only herded the cows for milking, but rescued David and his older brother, Dennis, from snakes in the long grass.
The little David crept even closer as the story went on until big David said, “Would you like to sit on my knee?”
The little one said nothing, but climbed up on the senior’s lap. “May I put my arm around you?”
The little one nodded. The story paused.
“Thank you,” said the almost teary-eyed man. “You know, I haven’t had a hug for years, because when I’m in this wheelchair people can’t reach, and so they wave, or touch my hand. That is nice, but sometimes I just want to be lost in a hug.”
With no hesitation the little boy from kindergarten reached up and shared a hang-on-tight hug, settling his head upon the man’s shoulder, breathing gently.
It was only minutes later that the teacher came along and called David to rejoin the group of young students gathering at the front of the room. He slowly unwound from the hug, pausing to look the happy old man in the face. They exchanged smiles. Then David slid down from the wheelchair and headed for his classmates. Suddenly he stopped, turned, and stood looking at the man again as though a high-speed line of communication was transmitting between them.
The teacher called once again, and he turned as though he was leaving the world’s biggest candy store
The students turned into a choir and sang three songs, ended by short words of thanks from the sponsor and the teacher. As the little learners began to file out the door David split off from the queue and ran to the wheelchair David. He stopped and put a hand on each knee and looked up with sparkling eyes and beaming face at the man sitting there. The man placed each of his hands on the little limbs that were touching him.
The teacher called David to order, who gracefully turned to go, carrying with him a piece of the man’s heart, and leaving a piece of his to fill the gap.
+++++++
This I saw in a vision today, and I share it because of the wondrous things it says about our loving God.

Go But Wait

Jesus last words in Matthew’s Gospel have always been important, but today, listening to my Brother Lazaro preaching from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, it became clear that the last words of Jesus according to Luke add an important element to this.

“I’m sending you what my Father promised. Wait here in the city until you receive power from heaven.” (Luke 24:49 GW©).

Jesus sends the disciples out into mission in Matthew’s account, saying, “So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. And remember that I am always with you until the end of time” (Matthew 28:19-20 GW©).

Matthew says, “Go” and Luke says, “Wait.” Before we go out we are to wait to be overpowered by The Spirit.

To go out is very good. To go out with our own doctrine, opinions and energy is very bad.

That makes the spiritual toolkit complete. We go, but God does all the rest!

“This is the word the Lord spoke to Zerubbabel: You won’t [succeed] by might or by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Armies” (Zechariah 4:6 GW©).

Today

Today too many people are living for the great “I” instead of The Great “I AM”.

Dig Down, Don’t Run