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Thoughts on the present June 26, 2006

Posted by eric22222 in Deep Thoughts, General.

Currently listening to: “Everything’s OK” by Chris Rice

I think I’ve come to a revelation of sorts. Nothing major; just a small step in my own study. We’ve been studying James in the Wednesday night class here in Malaysia. I’ve studied the book thoroughly from Bible Bowl a few years back. One thing slipped under the radar: right at the beginning, James says that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God for it. Ravi, our on-site missionary of sorts, directed one question at me (he likes to volunteer people to answer): what is the difference between knowledge and wisdom? I gave a good answer (or rather, God through me gave a good answer): knowledge is information, facts, and wisdom is more of an attitude, or how you use your knowledge. When a trial comes up (which James talks alot about), having knowledge is good, but it’ll take wisdom to use it. Meredith (I think) put it as “seeing it from God’s perspective).

This got my on a line of thought of commonly associated, but not synonymous, terms. Interestingly enough, we also covered the difference between trials and temptations in the same class. Anyway (I’m going somewhere with this), I’ve been thinking about worry vs care. Thanks to the software that HPCC got me as a graduation present, I’m able to look up all the verses in the Bible containing a certain set of words (in about ten different translations ^_^). From what I can tell, “worry” is fretting over the unknown, the future, etc, while the less-used term “care” seems to be directed more at things you know about. It makes sense to me, of course; I know the line of reasoning that brought me to that conclusion. And, in line with the typical thought pattern of humans, I’ve thought of some examples that support my idea (instead of trying to come up with ones that debunk it). In alot of these, “worry” and “care” could be grammatically exchanged, but you’ll be able to see the difference it makes in meaning.

Matthew 6:31
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Matthew 10:19
But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;

1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, [7] casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Cor. 7:32-33 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord–how he may please the Lord. [33] But he who is married cares about the things of the world–how he may please his wife.

Job 10:12
You have granted me life and favor,
And Your care has preserved my spirit.

I think worry has been (for the most part) easy to give up to God. I mean, for a long time before coming to Malaysia, I had no idea how everything was going to happen, but I think I did pretty good on being OK with that. Care is proving much more difficult. Hearing stuff from back home, it doesn’t make it too easy. Left and right, I’m learning about all this stuff going on which is really taking me by surprise… It’s tough. When I don’t know what’s going to happen, and really can’t do anything about it, I’m fine with that. Let’s just turn the page and see what happens. But when it’s something that’s been revealed… then it’s different. Say you have a box. There’s either an acid-spitting scorpion or a candy-spitting fish inside. Before you open it, it could still be a friendly trout that dispenses Skittles! (This gets into all kind of fun science stuff that I’ve learned most people don’t like, so I’ll skip the Schrödinger stuff [but still link to it]). But when you open it and find yourself with a face-full of acid, there’s not alot that’s going to change. Once the future is here, it’s no longer unknown. And when it turns out bad, you can’t really go back and make it good instead. The present can be a lot harder to deal with than the future. The known can be alot harder to deal with than the unknown.

The future could lead to anything, good or bad. The present doesn’t really have alot of options.



1. shannon - June 29, 2006

It is true that sometimes there aren’t many things that we can do about the present. In fact, we’re pretty powerless to do anything most of the time, it would seem. In reality we make a thousand tiny decisions a day with the potential for change. God works through the “mundane” and the fantastic avenues of life. It all turns. Growth maybe great in difficulties, but we really appreciate the sweetness of the good. The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all (Mulan). While it may seem the future has more options, the most important thing it has in common with the present is HOPE. A wise guy in the BEST book I’ve ever picked up ( see if you can guess which one that is – lol, it’s a toughy) once said “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) Everything will be okay.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken;struck down, but not destroyed; (2 Cor 4:8-9)

2. shannon - June 29, 2006

and by it all turns…I mean it all turns out

3. shannon - June 29, 2006

Also, we appreciate good because of growth in times of trouble. If you’d never tasted salt, would sugar be oh so wonderful?

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