Verse of the Day (4th January 2019)
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Some time ago the middle bit would have been the headline – the purpose of this verse: “And what does the Lord require of you?”
Today it is this: “He has shown you what is good. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Taking God out of the bible.
If I asked you to describe the word “dog” and then showed you twenty different responses, it has been proven (to my face – years ago) that there would be twenty different definitions of the word “dog”.
Not even all would have four legs. To some colour is the essence, or size, or personality, or loyalty, or unconditional love, or breed, or shape or sense of humour, or …
Ask people to describe the word “dog” and it is a lesson in assumption. What I think of as “dog” IS dog.
So when you come back with your “dog” that is different to my dog – we either accept there is more than one essence of “dog”. Or we spend the rest of our lives arguing that one of us is right and the other is wrong.
Oddly “dog” has no problem whichever choice we make. “Dog” continues to love unconditionally no matter how much we debate what “dog” is.
I was told that dogs’ mystical sense of knowing when its owner is due to come back each day is not mystical at all. It is a scent thing. The dog associates a certain level of (decreasing) scent (of its owner) in the house with the time the owner reappears from work. So when the scent level reaches that point of the “scent scale” – the dog becomes excited at the prospect of the owner (scent) returning again.
I have no idea if that is scientific fact. But I like the thought of “dog” being so much more than we ever define. I like the thought that we are so important to “dog” that a scent level gets “dog” excited at our return.
Putting “dog” in the bible.
I used to have to agree with your version of God. The version I was taught. Except it wasn’t the same God that I knew. My God wasn’t the God I was taught. But that is not the way of things when it comes to God.
When it comes to God there is but One God. And One God, I was taught, is my owner. Except I was taught I have no finely attuned sense of smell. I was taught I have no capacity for unconditional love. I was taught I was a sinner and not worth much without my owner taking care of things. I was taught I would know the sound of the voice of my owner. But then taught that what I am hearing is probably just my wishful thinking.
So how can I know my owner’s voice?
We have a bull terrier staffie. We were taught staffies are bred to fight. Taught that they are vicious. A dog of choice for bad people. A dog of the same character as bad people. We were taught so well that we never ever wanted to have a staffie in our home.
We love “dog”. Unless it is called “staffie”.
But when we went looking for a rescue “dog” to fill our home – all we found were unwanted staffies. And then a webpage devoted to undoing the teaching of myth. The myth of “dog” called “staffie”. And we have had a bull terrier staffie for the past five years. A soppy dog with a delicate stomach. A “dog” of unconditional love. A “dog” of unconditional love like any other.
Taking God out of the bible.
Not just any old “God”. Just the God I was taught. The God that needs me to do and be a certain kind of “dog”. A God who is a certain kind of ”owner”. An owner who doesn’t like staffies because staffies are sinners. That God. A taught God. A One God. A God we prefer to argue about than embrace. A God we prefer to distance ourselves from rather than bask in unconditional love.
A God we don’t know at all.
“And what does the Lord require of you?”
For me to be me.