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Thursday, November 14, 2013

As the World Turns

At this point in your life, is your pressing need to learn more or to practice what you have already learned? Why? How would you like the group to pray for you to that end? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1348).

I come to this question with the feeling of inescapable duress and duality. For it is certainly a truism that one must never stop learning. At the same time it’s a truism that knowledge and wisdom have little currency if left untested in practice. Conviction arises out of confirmation that knowledge and wisdom actually work in human affairs. As a young man I was a doctrinaire Christian. As a senior citizen I am softer and more pliable now, realizing that the truth will always out when subjected to real conditions. In other words, life experience is the operative test of a life philosophy. When I was going to the University of Miami, I studied philosophy because I wanted (needed and felt the need of) wisdom. To be honest with you, half of what I read I seldom understood. It was way over my head, though I sincerely felt a need to know better the realities of human behavior and social affairs. I have come to see that what is needful has great clarity as expressed in the parables of Jesus. What I remember—at least consciously so—from those early years studying philosophy can be counted on one hand. But the statement that has stood by me through all the years is this: “Truth is that which is so—regardless of what we may say about it.” Certainly today we see the vulnerabilities of speech laid bare as the most popularly biased spin is desperately sought. We are not softer and more pliable but instead are doctrinaire and brittle to the extreme—forever looking at what we say to be reassured that it plays in Peoria. It is a blessing to know that spin is not always truth, and we know this because calculated spin does not always pass experiential tests. I would ask others to pray for me a prayer that would have been good from my toddler years all through until my death—Lord, bless Wayne with discernment to accept that which is true from the Lord—applying it daily—and to set aside that which is false and deceptive, remembering it no more.

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