How do Wisdom and Selling go together?

Welcome to Wisdom Selling. So if you are like me, you are always wanting to learn more. Well here is the deal about selling. It is the desire to exchange something you have, for something of more value to you. You may have an idea, a product, a service which people will want to pay for, allowing you to make a profit. You have to seek out people who might want it, and convince them it is worth the price you are charging. Or like me, you may just have a little wisdom, and are looking for someone who values it enough to want to use it. My value received in return is the joy of your feedback. So, I am selling wisdom. The cost to you, your interest. I want to help others as well. Visit the links page and shop for some good deals. Any profits on money you spend there will be used by Wisdom Selling to support non-profit businesses in developing their strategies.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Explaining the unexplainable

A friend of mine wrote something that made alot of sense to me.  God is relational.  He created us to have a relationship with Him.  Because of sin, that relationship was broken, and life is about restoration.  The biggest challenge, since God is so relational, is to communicate that to someone who is facts and data oriented.  I have several friends that struggle in that area, but nothing was more a heartbreak for me that to have my grandfather die in 1993, without revealing a decision of faith.  He was a very smart person, and we had a lot of very interesting conversations, where it was obvious that he could not feel what I was saying.

On the eve of his colon and bladder cancer surgery in September, 1991, I wrote him a letter, trying to bridge the relater-explainer divide that existed in our discussions about faith.  In the hope that if someday you find yourself in a similar situation this letter may help, I have retyped it in here.  I found it in his important papers when we were cleaning out his desk after he died.

September 3, 1991

Dear Grandad,

I hope you are doing well. Since as you can see above I am writing prior to your surgery, I have no data to tell me otherwise. Caroline is doing just fine, and now can balance herself standing up. It won’t be long until those first steps. Enclosed is our latest family portrait. I would be a good picture if they could just get me out of it.

I am very concerned about how you are going to do after this surgery or whatever it is they prescribe. I admire your attitude about having no choice in the matter, but it still concerns me. As your number one grandson, I have really enjoyed these last ten years following your last surgery. I am planning on my son getting to enjoy a little of the same. One of the biggest regrets of my adult life is that you and I cannot spend the quality time we used to spend together when I was in high school and college. Those are some of my best memories, and I get great pleasure out of sharing stories of those times with Kelly.

I am regarded as having some of the most generous grandparents among my peers, and some of them have the nerve to say you spoil me. I really appreciate all you do for me, and my life has been better as a result. I have never had to question your feelings for me and I hope you have never had to question mine.

This is not intended to be a mushy letter, or anything of this nature. However, I have been giving a lot of thought to our conversation back at your house this spring about God. It was very special to me for you to be so honest about your feelings and giving me the opportunity to try to persuade you. Even though I was unequipped to do so, I was happy that you discussed so private an issue with me.

As you reach toward your uncertain future, I would ask you to read very carefully what I have written here, because I want you to be in heaven with me when I am there, and your current views make that unlikely. We do not ever have to discuss this as I feel you were more than generous with our last discussion.

I appreciate the efforts you have put into trying to uncover the truth about God. As you put it, all I had to do was give you evidence and you would believe. I was unable to do so on your terms and did not even do a good job of trying. As I have given further thought to our discussion, it has come to me that God will not allow you to understand Him until you can change your approach. In analyzing the difference between how I can believe and you cannot, even though we are both avid intellectuals, I think it boils down to three areas.

1. Faith – I think that God asks for this more than you are currently capable of giving. This is the belief that something exists, without physical evidence. Much of what I have read and studied about God demonstrates to me that He does not reveal everything to mere mortal man. I do not think we would be capable of understanding what power it took to create a universe, regardless of what method physicists determine He used. Therefore, we are given small doses of His power, and asked to take all else on faith. However, He does not inhibit man from attaining this knowledge at the pace of technology. Some day this knowledge may be made available to us but I doubt in my or your lifetime.

The Bible was written over a period of three thousand years, by fifty-five different authors, but has remained unchanged during the last two thousand years, according to the recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls. The Bible serves two purposes. One, it demonstrates the covenant God made with Abraham to bless His people, and how they disobeyed and paid the price. The Old Testament was written to be understood by these people and as a historical perspective on disobedience and the costs. I have no doubt that were it written today, God would allow more explanation of the origin of man, of the flood, and other events of earth’s early history that modern man can more fully understand.

The New Testament was written to chronicle God’s new covenant, accomplished through coming to earth as a man, dying in the worst manner of the day, and coming back to life enough time after death to be believable, and ascending into heaven. This is the new covenant through which God allows us to overcome the sinful lives we are inclined to, and to attain His glory in eternal life. I believe the Bible ends here for a reason. It has demonstrated to us the results of breaking a covenant, then it demonstrates His new covenant in a way most understood by people of the day. It allows us to chart our own course, but clearly lays out the consequence of a sinful life, and moreso of not believing in his new covenant, Jesus Christ.

This can only be taken on faith, as God did not allow for a lot of proof. I can only tell you that I have seen enough evidence of obedience and disobedience to Jesus Christ and the consequences of each to make a believer out of me.

2. Hope – this is what makes life worth living to me. I have great hope for the future for myself, Kelly, Caroline and for you. I believe God put me on earth to make a difference and I have the hope that one day I will fulfill my destiny on earth. In addition to my hope here on earth, I also have hope in eternal life: that is life after death. I believe there is a heaven and I know I will go there one day. Even if I was not sure I would hope there would be one. I feel that you have invested 75 great years in this life, and I just cannot believe that it would end with nothing else. If you cannot believe on faith that heaven exists, I wish you could at least hope there is one, and hope that some influence of the Holy Spirit would allow you to believe. I have hope that if you wanted it bad enough, it would happen. This is an emotion that after as many years as you have spent set on your course it would be difficult to attain, and I certainly understand how this has been difficult for you personally.

3. Love – this is the one area that is most difficult for me to address to you. I have always felt a personal love from you to me and I have always felt a very special love toward you. Neither one of us is any good at expressing it to each other verbally, but there is no question that it exists. However, outside of your feelings toward me, I have not sensed this outpouring of love to really anyone else. I know you care about my father, and about Caroline, but since Dottie, I haven’t really seen it in you for others.

You have been through a marriage that really tested your ability to love, and it may have faded over the years into something different. There is no question that you are a compassionate and caring person, and that you like very much a lot of people. But is there anyone now that you feel a special closeness with? I have been blessed with a wonderful family that overwhelms me with these feelings and it makes it easy for me to accept God’s love for me, which is demonstrated in the symbol He used of having His son die on the cross. Since I didn’t live during that time, I cannot relate to the pain of that type of death, but all I have read indicates it was the most tortuous of the time, or just about any time. I think it was chosen for the purpose of showing the depths of His love, and I feel this depth in my personal relationship with him. I know this is a difficult concept, but if you can think about how you feel when you really love someone, and can accept that God loves you, then you will be on the road to understanding why having His own son die on the cross was so effective in winning people to eternal life.

I know this is underwhelming in giving you the facts and data that would be so effective in convincing you, that to believe in God is the right thing to do. That’s just it. The Bible is full of references to how God will make it difficult for the intelligent to understand, so as to underscore the importance of faith. I hope you can understand that what I have said here is in support and acceptance of the difficulty you have had in accepting Christ on faith. I have always loved and admired you, and will always do so, regardless of your belief. My opinion of what it would take for you to believe is a mountain you may not be capable of scaling. Please don’t give up trying though, for never know when something may spark in you to give you peace for the future.

Love ,


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