Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Because I Said So!

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.
Isaiah 55:8, NIV

I am not in a position to scold anyone, and I wouldn't want to even if I was. Rather, I want to tell you about this neat system I have of studying the Bible. It's not a memory system, it is a one-time thing.

I used to live in a really old home. It had sagged until its walls and ceiling looked like trapezoids. It was so irregular! This did not bother me at all, until my wife told me we really should do something about the ceiling in the dining room. We were having guests over for our first Thanksgiving in our new-old home.

Now I am not a home fixup guy at all, but I went to a big hardware store to look at suspended ceiling supplies. I bought aluminum supports, wire, and a bunch of ceiling panels. Thankfully, instructions came with this kit. I forgot to tell you that this project had to be completed in one night, the night before the big dinner!

So, as my wife slept soundly, I opened my kit and read the detailed instructions. I found, to my horror, I should remove the old ceiling. It was plaster with horse hair, the way they used to make them. It was strong. I used a baby sledge hammer to break it all up, and finally had it done.

The real work was yet to begin. I had to put a perfectly square grid system on a very warped ceiling. I had no clue how to do this. I wasn't even sure it could be done. It was then I made the decision to just trust the instructions that came with the kit. I used a level, tape measure and hack saw. I tuned the radio in and got an all-night session of Pink Floyd. I knew this would keep me awake as well as listening to a wildcat scream.

I measured the crazy ceiling first. Then I used a carpenter's level. I fastened the first pieces to the wall and slowly created a level grid, just as the instructions said. It was late when I tried the panels. They fit perfectly! I took the chandelier apart and threaded it through the center panel. I had plaster dust in my hair, I was bone tired from working overhead, but I was through.

Now why would anyone convey this tedious story? It is just to tell you my mind was once warped and distorted. I knew I had to shape it up, regarding the Word. So I made the decision, You'll never get it right on your own. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. I decided to cling to the Bible, no matter what it said. I became a naive literalist, a Fundamentalist.

Whoever designed that ceiling kit knew exactly how to guide an amateur to make a perfect ceiling. And God knows how to write a book.

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