Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Why state the obvious

You know, sometimes I worry that what I write is just too obvious. You know, something everyone already knows, or as my son would but it, "Well, duh." So why write about these everyday random thoughts if they are so obvious?

There actually are a couple of reasons I write. One is so that I can process the information myself. Like many women, I need to talk it out in order to process my thoughts. When we first get married, our poor husbands think they must somehow have an answer to what we are talking about...they are "fixers" by nature. What they don't realize is that we don't need them to fix it, we just need them to listen to us so we can verbally process the information. One of my favorite movie lines is from the movie Crocodile Dundee. They are in New York and the girl is on her way to see the psychiatrist. Dundee asks why, are you nuts or something? She explains that here in America when you have problems you go and talk to your psychiatrist. Dundee's response is, "Why? Don’t you have any mates?" I'm so thankful for all my "mates" who listen to me or read as I process information.

The other reason for stating the obvious is that for some, it's not yet obvious. I was thinking the other day that I take for granted that everyone knows the Bible stories or spiritual principles that I have known for years. I forget that at one time, I didn't know them either. One of the advantages of getting older is that you accumulate some really helpful information along the way. Some is pretty everyday kind of stuff: baking soda is good for cleaning and getting out odors, you can get up oil spills in your garage with kitty litter, you can make really good hash browns out of left over french fries, (my sister in law taught me that one this weekend). But some things go much deeper and can make a difference in the way we deal with life.

The Bible tells us we should share these stories. Deuteronomy 6:6 - 9 puts it this way: "Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates." We are to share what God is doing and showing us with others. Yes, to some it may be obvious, but there are others who are hearing for the first time.

It's sort of like teaching a young child their colors. When my babies were just learning to talk, I'd say things like "Bring me the red truck"....now I of course knew my colors and what a truck was, but they were just learning. By including things like color in my everyday conversation, they assimilated the information naturally. I doubt anyone can remember when they learned that red was red...it has been a part of their information bank for so long they no longer think about it...that is until they start to teach their own children colors.

The point is that we sometimes need to state the obvious. While for some the information may be something they have heard before, we cannot stop sharing. There is yet one other reason to share. Humans are notorious for having leaky brains. We tend to forget things unless we are reminded of them on a regular basis. I know I can't go into the store for more than 3 items without a list or I will forget at least one. I may get 20 others that aren't on the list, but I still forget the one I needed. We learn from others, and we learn from our own past. Stating the obvious reminds us of God's goodness in our lives, "lest we forget".

How about it? Why not take some time today to "state the obvious" with me. Go ahead and tell the "old, old stories," because for some, they are not old at all.

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