Reaching Conclusions

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Cor 1:27

Examining life for deeper meanings is a common preoccupation and often we draw the wrong conclusions. We assume things are not what they seem, and that there is a hidden meaning in what people do when there is none. 

Tom Mullen, in Laughing Out Loud and Other Religious Experiences, tells about an engineer, a psychologist, and a theologian who were hunting inthe wilds of northern Canada. They came across an isolated cabin, and because friendly hospitality is a virtue practiced by those who live in the wilderness, the hunters knocked on the door. When no one answered, they entered the cabin to find two rooms with a minimum of furniture and household equipment. Nothing was unusual about the cabin except the stove, a large, potbellied one made of cast iron – suspended in midair by wires attached to the ceiling beams. 

“Fascinating,” said the psychologist. “It is obvious that this lonely trapper , isolated from humanity, has elevated his stove so he can curl up under it and vicariously experience a return to the womb.” The engineer interrupted, “Nonsense! The man is practicing the laws of thermodynamics, by elevating his stove, he has discovered a way to distribute heat more evenly throughout the cabin.” Now the theologian spoke, “With all due respect, I’m sure that hanging his stove has a religious meaning. Fire ‘lifted up’ has been a religious symbol for centuries.” The three debated the point for several minutes and then the trapper returned. When they asked him why he had hung his heavy potbellied stove from the ceiling his answer was succinct: “Had plenty of wire, not much stove pipe.” 

Constantly looking for hidden meaning in the actions of coworkers and family members can waste time and create mistrust. Take people at their word today and trust the Lord to bring about His truth in each situation. 

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