Saturday, July 11, 2015

On My Own - Part 1 (Revisit)

We've been resharing a series of posts that have been inspired by photographs from a variety of photographers and artists on Google+.  Some also share on Facebook, others don't.  But God put it on my heart to edit and repost these for two reasons.  The thoughts evoked by the images are important.  And it's an opportunity to highlight the image creators, again.  They're that good. We're far from done with that.  Some honed my focus on a single thought.  Others, like today's image, took me to a broader subject that requires a multi-part series.

You could probably write several novels and “how to” self help books based on this photograph.  It’s by Mary Kay and titled “The Dark Traveler”.  We appreciate Mary having allowed us to use it,. When it was first posted, Mary mentioned in the discussion that the ship had been stuck there for a very long time and was a well known sight.  And that added dimension to my original thought, when I saw it.

Isaiah 53:6a  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;

That’s the verse that ran through my mind as looked at Mary Kay’s photograph.  The ship sits there, a rust bucket going nowhere.  But, sometime in the past, there was a proud ship with a good captain and crew, doing whatever the ship was intended to do, on a regular basis.  At some point, they were misinformed or made a bad decision.  The result was the ship getting grounded in the shallows.  Stuck for very possibly a very long time, a ghost ship in the fog.  A compelling thought, though not pretty.

That mental picture took me to the lives of men.  We can be good at what we do and how we think. But that can be shipwrecked by the smallest of wrong decisions.  And we can deceive ourselves into believing we’re headed in the right direction.  Notice I said “the lives of men”, not “the lives of believers”.  Since the fall of Adam and Eve, our own flesh has been given free reign to guide us in some interesting but incorrect directions.  For this discussion, it doesn’t matter whether you consider the story of Adam and Eve’s fall to be real or an allegory.  The true principle we see is that man has always had a free choice in how he thinks and lives, and God does not violate that free will.

The deception is described in Proverbs 16:2.  It says, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”.  How correct our determination is of the nature of our own behavior depends on whose perspective we use.  And that’s what we’re going to look at, over the next several posts.  We’ll see how thinking can become perverted.  But even more, how it can be taken in the right direction. Which, since this series originally started at a Thanksgiving holiday, is something to be thankful for.  We can avoid running aground in the spiritual shallows.  We can even predetermine to have smooth sailing in the midst of the storm.

More coming, next time.

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