A change is coming to The OYL and I want to explain it to those of you who follow my blog.
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.
Yesterday, a Face Book friend of mine caused me to confront the message in Bonhoeffer’s words. My friend announced he was leaving Face Book because all people do on there is complain, and complaining only serves to divide us and tear us apart rather than unite and build us up. I understand his position, but I’m conflicted as to whether or not I can agree with his decision. You see, there have been times when the things my friend posted on his Face Book page did help me. Sometimes they caused me to examine the intentions behind my actions; other times, they gave me comfort and inspiration. Now, i my friend helped me, how many more has he helped without ever knowing it? This is what brought me face-to-face with Bonhoeffer’s warning. I have realized that, if my friend leaves Face Book, the voices of unrest will still be causing division, but there will be one less voice to counter those voices of division and unrest. In other words, if my friend leaves Face Book because he sees evil, then he will be silent in the face of evil. I pray he changes his mind, but — if nothing else — my friend has caused me to make some changes in how I will act. He has convinced me to stop adding my voice to the chorus of division, and he has changed my motivation for blogging.
I have been struggling with my blogging for a while. Like my Face Book friend, I had realized I was not doing the best I could to build up those who read my posts. I have been harsh in some of the things I have said, and this is not who I want to be. At the same time, I know how many people are reading this blog, and have heard from many who have told me my posts do help them understand what is happening in the world. There was a time when this would have been enough to motivate me to keep blogging, but that time has long passed. I am much more humble now than I was just a couple years ago. I no longer think much of myself. Now I worry about you, and I pray constantly that I do not lead you astray. In fact, I have been so troubled by this concern that I had been considering whether or not I should just stop my blogging all together. However, my Face Book friend changed my mind. What’s more, I believe God used my friend to show me what it is He wants me to do with my blog pages (The OYL and The Road to Concord).
A few years ago, I finally surrendered to God’s will. Since that time, He has been teaching me so much so fast that I can barely keep up with Him. But He has also blessed me because, for the first time in my life, I understand why the Lord made me the way He has. The norm in our society is to specialize in our field of work, but I never did this. Instead, my interests took me into so many fields that my closest friend once told me I had:
“Learned so much about so little that I now know everything about nothing.”
My best friend said this to me when I was still in my twenties, but, back then, I was still too arrogant to understand what my friend was telling me. Today, I look back and I see that I can understand and talk with some competency on cooking, needlepoint, sewing, politics, history, science, engineering, religion, philosophy, literature — even quantum mechanics, astrophysics and string theory. In short, my friend was right: I had become a modern Renaissance man. However, I had not seen the importance of who the Lord had made me — until I read my Face Book friend’s post. Then it all came into focus, and the best way I can explain my revelation to you is by asking you to consider the character of Forest Gump.
Most of us would not think of Forest Gump as a ‘smart man,’ but he was wise. I never understood the difference until after I surrendered to God’s will. Now I understand that intelligence is just a tool, but wisdom is needed to use it properly and with skill. Think of intelligence as a weapon. Someone like Stephen Hawking may be so intelligent, we can think of his weapon as a machine gun. But wisdom is our ability to aim that weapon. In this case, Hawking has demonstrated that he cannot aim his machine gun, so he seldom hits his target. On the other hand, Forset Gump had great wisdom, so even if his weapon was a BB gun, his ability to use that BB gun allows him to hit the head of a needle, and as we all know from that Christmas movie, you can put your eye out with a properly aimed BB.
Now, you may think I am rambling, but here is the point: the reason those who know them consider the men who founded this nation to have been wise is connected to their broad breadth of learning and understanding. But it is also directly dependent on their willingness to surrender themselves to God’s will. Those two things are what leads to wisdom, and without them, no one can be wise. And this explains the lack of ‘wise men’ so many of us lament today. We do not have men of the same caliber as our founders because we no longer study in such depth while seeking and surrendering to the will of God. If we did, then there would be more of the leaders many of us now seek to help us keep ourselves on the proper track.
Well, for better or worse, God has shown me that I am one of those who now passes for ‘wise’ in our society. Again, there was a time when I would have reveled in this idea, but no longer. I have been fighting any admission of this because I know and accept that I am a poor substitute for those who I consider to have been truly wise. However, I believe the Lord has been telling me to share what I have learned with those who will listen and leave the rest to Him and His Holy Spirit. So that is what I am going to dedicate myself to doing. From now on, I will strive to keep my voice out of the chorus of division, and focus on writing posts that educate and help explain the connections between Biblical Scriptures, history and Islam. If you find value in my work from this point forward, please help me spread the word by telling your friends and family about my blog pages (The OYL and The Road to Concord). I would also ask you to please comment: ask questions. I do best when I am in a give-and-take environment. It allows me to know how well I have explained the material I have presented, and what I need to explain better.
From now on, I will be writing to serve those who seek the information I have to share, but I need you to tell me how I can best serve you. On the other hand, if you disagree with my posts, then either post your objections in a respectful manner so we can openly discuss them, or be kind enough to just stop following my blogs. I have no desire to be part of tearing people down: from now on, I want to be a part of building people up. SO, if you disagree, I am begging you to help save me from myself by leaving me to write for those who do find value in my humble attempts to educate.
Thank you, and God bless.