Friday, January 06, 2006

Imagined Monsters

I've never been able to buy into big foot or the loch ness monster. If you do--more power to you. I won't publically ridicule you....only smirk privately. I also don't believe a space ship rests in Roswell, New Mexico. On the other hand, I do think snakes and spiders conspire against me while I am sleeping. I would never go for that urban legend that everyone swallows eight spiders every year, but at certain times I have ripped the blankets off my bed trying to keep very devious snakes from harming my wife. Actual monsters, gila or otherwise, do not usually pose any kind of real threat to us; it's the imagined ones that cause most of our problems. For instance, I suspect you think I'm crazy right now. That's what you're thinking, isn't it? What do I know? It's true...OK...I don't know. And not knowing is my point here.

I'm going to let you in on a little rule that I have embraced that helps me a whole lot with what I call the imagined monsters: Don't judge what you do not know or cannot see. For instance, I can't assume that someone misses church because he was offended with something I said or just isn't right with God. I shouldn't conclude that he has a problem with me because of a look I think that I see on his face. Just because they laughed, and one person from their group looked at me when they did, that doesn't mean they're laughing at me. In a line-up of a dozen cars, he may not have been honking at me. Just because the sermon seems to hit me bullseye, it doesn't mean that the preacher had my face next to his message notes. Jesus said in John 7:24, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

If the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart are to be acceptable in His sight, we must let things go that not only aren't worth thinking about, but they will often serve to trip us up and to harm the reputation of the Lord. Most of the times that I have mainly speculated based on an imagined monster, I have been wrong. And for many people they help add to their tums budget for the year. Love covers a multitude of sins. I think it surely can cover a multitude of imaginations. Here's a corollary rule to the one on imagined monsters: If you can't keep from your vain speculations, then talk directly to the monster to find out if it's true. If you don't, the only big foot you'll spot may be the one in your own mouth.

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