Understanding

Understanding

Today’s Scripture Selection: Deuteronomy 4:5-6

“See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it.  Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’”

We’ve all heard it, haven’t we?  This is the age of “information overload.”

Growing up I thought there were an awful lot of commercials on TV; a lot of junk mail in the mailbox.  But it was nothing compared to today.  When I pause to think about how many images; messages; advertisements; news flashes; opportunities to buy; opportunities to sell are all around me every waking moment – well, frankly, it exhausts me.

Then I think about these words of Moses, spoken to a people about to enter their “Promised Land.”

I think about how he said he had given them, in God’s name, a tremendous choice.  It was the choice between life and death.

And he reminded them, at the end of his journey, but at the beginning of their next journey, that they had a great opportunity.

He desperately wanted them to understand that the beginning of all wisdom was to honor and love God.  And that it was about not just thinking about God in reverential ways; it was about following God in reverential ways.

Is it any different for us today?

In this age of “information overload” surely there is one way to true wisdom – to listen to the still, small voice of God as God tries to lovingly guide us.

So let’s commit ourselves to gaining true understanding.

Let’s commit ourselves to learning – always learning – from our God.

Prayer: Lord, open my mind and heart to you; that I may learn all you would have me know.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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