Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lightly, in pencil...

Are you a "note-taker?" Boy, I am! In college I began taking voracious, copious notes anytime I was in any class or lecture. To this day it's how I learn. I may not look over the notes again (especially if there's no test!) but the very process of writing while the lecturer is speaking transmits the information to my brain in a way that simply listening or receiving a handout does not. I've got binders, folders and composition notebooks full of notes from the various classes, seminars and Bible studies I've attended over the years. I'm not sure what I'll do with all of them, but I've got them tucked away in a cabinet in my room... just in case...

One place I always make lots of notes is in my Bible. All of the Bibles that I've used over the years are marked-up and highlighted. Some of the margins are so crowded with tiny notes in my attempt to make them all fit, I practically need a magnifying glass to read what I've written! Those are the notes to which I refer the most often, because I see them and reflect on them time after time as I read that particular Bible. I get to repeatedly benefit from the God-ordained pastors, teachers and Bible study leaders I've had.

Well, this morning I did something I haven't done before. I erased some notes from my Bible. I was reading a particular passage and glanced over the notes off to the side, and what was written just didn't ring true. I even found some Scriptural examples to the contrary. I can remember taking notes in a particular Bible study I was in a few years ago, and while the leader was gifted and Spirit-led teacher, and I've got pages and pages of insightful notes in from that study, the particular principle I re-read this morning just didn't seem to line up with what I have subsequently learned in the whole counsel of Scripture. So... I erased it. At that moment, I was glad I had written in pencil. Maybe in my haste I had written it wrong. Perhaps it had originally been stated differently. (I'm certainly not arrogant enough to think I know more than this particular teacher!) Who knows? All I know is that as I erased that sentence from the margin of my Bible this morning I became more keenly aware that God's words remained.

And that's as it should be.

"...But the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8

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