These quotes are all taped to a picture that hangs above my desk and I hope they guide my work to some extent. Three are from novelist John Updike and the other from the artist Georgia O’Keeffe.
“When starting, everything is more fascinating than writing.”
“Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face.”
“You can either see or be seen.”
“There is nothing less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.”
One of the most import things ever said to me was:
“Teach what you know.”
After thinking about that for a while, I realized that what I knew was this:
“The Bible is true.”
There is, of course, a big difference between “true” and “perfect”. The Bible is not perfect meaning “without flaw.” But it is “true” in the sense that the events in the Bible really happened. That these events were recorded and related (sometimes differently) by different people who were eyewitnesses (like Matthew, Mark, and John), or interviewers of eyewitnesses (like Luke). It saddens me that some people put their faith in the perfection of the written or translated Bible only to have that faith shattered when they realize that our Bibles have imperfections (typos, mistranslations, mis-transcriptions, etc.).
Even if we all spoke and read original Biblical languages, and even if we had the original manuscripts penned by the original authors, our understanding of what was written would still be imperfect. Different people understand the same words somewhat differently. No two people can read the same book and understand every word in the same way. Even the same person, reading the same thing at different times in his life, will understand the same passage differently, based on his own experience. This is why it is far more important to realize that “the Bible is true” than to put our faith in our own interpretation. We are not saved by the perfection of our own understanding. We have to trust God to save us.
Excellent advice in these quotes–and waaaaayyy deeper than what I was going to offer: “never trust a skinny cook.” Keep your good thoughts coming, friend. Clearly I need them!