2004-10-21 - Sudden Insights
2 Tim 2:3-7 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. (NAS)
Yesterday evening I was sitting at my desk at work when I was stuck "out of the clear blue" with an idea. It was a fairly technical thing, so I will spare everyone the details. But the idea was both simplicity itself and very nearly breath-taking. I have been programming in the UNIX Korn Shell language for almost 20 years and a brand new idea slapped me in the face like a splash of cold water. It was refreshing and exciting. I had to try it immediately. I wrote a tiny little script to test the idea, and it worked just as I had suspected it might. Now that I was sure, I had to tell somebody. I printed out a few copies of the test script and left them on coworker's desks with a note scribbled on the page. "What do you think about this!"
The items listed above are nothing out of the ordinary. They are routine, day-to-day events. A soldier working to please his superior, an athlete training and a farmer tending his crops are all things that happen everyday. The idea of suffering hardship willingly and as part of our duty as a Christian is a new insight to many people. In exchange for faithful service the Paul say the Lord will give us understanding in everything - be it farming, athletics, computing, or just day-to-day life. I believe Paul is speaking from experience here. While Paul was a very learned man, he intimates here that he continues to learn new things.
My statement "out of the clear blue" was done on purpose as you might have suspected. Of course I give credit for my sudden revelation to the Lord. When I say "out of the blue", I definitely mean that it came from nowhere inside of me. But the thought had a source. The thought had never occurred to me, and the pieces were not going to fall together correctly on their own. Of course I am grateful for the revelation that was given to me. The new technique will be very useful. And there are other ways to learn things too: classes, friends sharing what they have learned. We should be thankful for those instances as well. While God gives insight to many people during the course of a single day, we should be aware of the source. It is a simple example of the touch of the Creator on our day-to-day lives that turns the routine into something special, which in itself can be a revelation.
Grace & Peace,