WORD TO THE WISE: Wisdom, Puppies, and Not Unlike

Good morning.  We have made it through another wild and wacky week!  The blog has been hopping this week and I hope you kept up!  We talked about Mondays, puppies, music, and a new song I posted on YouTube.  Now though, it is time to talk about a word. Or actually, three words, only this week it’s four.  Really two words and a phrase.  How ’bout I stop talking and just write the post?

Wisdom

I have been studying the book of Ecclesiastes…I don’t know…for about a year now.  I started it a LONG time ago and just haven’t stuck with studying Scripture the way I wanted to.  However, I am deeply desiring to desire God this year.  I want to want a closer relationship with Jesus.  The first step of that is making sure that one of the first things on my to do list in the morning is get into my Bible study.  Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Maggie, Jesus is not something to check off of your to do list!  SHAME AND CONDEMNATION ON YOUR HOUSEHOLD!!!”  I agree with you.  That is why I write it on the list…but I never check it off.

We use being busy, sleep deprivation, coffee, and a multitude of other excuses as to why we don’t spend more time in God’s word.  Me personally, I forget.  Just to be honest, as a person existing after the fall of humanity, I am a member of the cursed generations who aren’t in constant oneness with God.  It’s a thing.  But it is not a thing I desire to stay under.  So, if I can add “Bible study” as the first thing to do in my day, and this leads me to remember to earnestly, and faithfully seek out the truths of Scripture…Imma risk it  Call me crazy but I believe that building a strong relationship with Jesus will help Him forgive me for writing Him on my list.

Puppies

I found a puppy this week.  You can find that post by clicking here.  It was this whole big thing that Jesus did to remind me that He is involved, He is present, and He cares deeply.  In a world where terrible things happen every day, it is too easy to forget that from time to time.

The good news is, after I posted the sweet little Nugget’s picture on Facebook, we were able to find his owner, his mama, and his eight brothers and sisters!  I had the little guy for less than 24 hours.  I think a lot of people thought I was a little crazy for seeing so much God in such a little incident.  But after the owner left with the Nugget, my mom turned to me and said, “It really is amazing that God gave you a puppy for a day.”

Thanks God.  I really enjoyed it!

Not Unlike

You know what I’ve been fascinated by this week?  Words.  I’ve been fascinated by words.  Why don’t we just take a moment to discuss this.

I always love doing my “Word to the Wise” posts, and one of my favorite parts of these posts is looking for something to catch my eye.  And it did.  In a book.  The book is Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller.  He says, in his book, “…morality exists only because we are fallen, not unlike medicine exists because people get sick” (pg. 183). I really love this quote.  It makes great sense.  But suddenly I found myself thinking: not unlike?  Who says things like that?  Where did that phrase come from?  Why do we always have to come up with something to say that makes us sound smart and pretentious?  (P.S. I am not calling Miller out here.  I frequently use this phrase and hear it quite regularly in conversation.  He is just the one that opened my eyes to it.)

Why do we have this outlandish desire to sound smart?  It is ridiculous.  It gets in our way so terribly!  It is the beam in our eye that we attempt to use to remove the sawdust from our neighbor’s.  I came across a blog this week called “Lemmony Things“.  I thought that was an interesting title, so I went to the “About” page.  This blog is run by Mrs. Kayla Lemmon (hence the title) and she seems to be a sweet-spirited lady who has walked with God through some very rough patches in her life.  I scrolled down the page and found myself reading comments from people who love her, love her blog.  After a couple, I found a long one.  And oh.  Oh it was painful to read.

There is a scene in “Friends” when Chandler is doing something stupid, and Rachel, with her hands pressed to her temples and her widened eyes peeking out between says, loud and fast, “Ohhh…I can’t not look at it!”  I heard this in my head.  Someone had commented on this woman’s page basically tearing her apart for not believing in God.  They assumed it was because she was “misled” by the Mormon faith since they “make things up” (The Book of Mormon) outside of the Scripture we have in the Bible.

Mrs. Lemmon, as graciously as can be expected (and more graciously than I would’ve handled it) responded to this post.  Another reader, and Mormon, responded as well with a little fire in her own post.

Why do we do these things?  Why do we say “not unlike”?  Is it “not unlike” the reason we feel we have to show people we know so many things about so many things and tear down their religion whether it be similar to ours, Mormons and other Christian denominations, or as far apart as Baptists and Buddhists, Mormons and Muslims?

I got in an internet fight this week, which is something I heavily avoid.  It is after all, the single greatest waste of time in our culture.  It is the severely un-winable war.  It was over Donald Miller’s book I told you about.  I’ve simply learned this week that I cannot, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES read comments or book reviews.  If I were to baseline this book into a thought it would be this: we are made for relationship with Jesus not religion about Jesus.  Miller wonders at the fact that we have reduced a faith based on art and beauty and wonder to scientific elements and a couple of key platform controversies (namely abortion and homosexuality).  As I looked at the reviews of this book, I found one that had entirely proved his point.  The woman in question had given a poor rating and her review tore the book and the mind down to a low level.  As I read her review, and a comment (told ya’) that agreed with her, something became painfully obvious.  If you met this woman in public, I am nearly positive she has got the word “conservative” tattooed across her forehead.

There is nothing wrong with identifying as conservative, just as there is truly nothing wrong with being a Mormon Christian.  If Jesus is at the center, and love is what you distribute, be a conservative, Mormon, fanatic, snake-handling, Episcopatarian for all I care!  The problem comes in when a person, possibly a woman on Good Reads, reads a book discussing how political agendas have turned a relationship with a loving Savior into a religious set of rules concerning politics, science, and an unloving conservative mindset, and walks away concerned about how the author of said book speaks negatively on anything conservative, political and scientific.  “Ohhh…I can’t not look at it.”

I want to keep writing.  I really do.  I want to diatribe (I’m confused as to what you’ve been doing so far) on the dangers of words, and opinions, and policies, and sects, and all this other stuff.  However, it really all comes back to wisdom.  Ecclesiastes.  Solomon man, what a guy!

“The best you can do with your life is have a good time and get by the best you can.  The way I see it, that’s it — divine fate.  Whether we feast or fast, it’s up to God.  God may give wisdom and knowledge and joy to his favorites, but sinners are assigned a life of hard labor, and end up turning their wages over to God’s favorites.  Nothing but smoke — and spitting into the wind.”
-Ecc. 2:24-26,MSG

God is the thing that matters.  And He thinks we matter.

Be His.

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