Vol.IX No.XII Pg.8
February 1973

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Some folk never enlarge their borders, though they may travel two and one-half Red Top axlegreasings from home. In the new country, they view with a jaundiced eye everything that differs from their limited experience. We are proud and unrealistic who suppose there is no truth beyond what we already know, and nothing good but what we have already done. Such attitudes make status quo and self the ultimate authority for all things.

In order to grow we must change. Something new must be added to our experience, understanding, or knowledge. This does not mean casting out the old, tried and true. But it does mean recognizing a source of truth and good that is greater than ourselves, and reaching out for it.

But there are problems involved in trying new things. Once, in a far away land, I decided to eat like the natives. I found a cafeteria that was doing a thriving business, joined the line, and ordered exactly what the man ahead of me ordered. The food smelled and tasted good, and I was able to enjoy meal until I noticed the oriental people about me were picking some pieces from their food and leaving them on the back of their plates. Curiosity finally got the better of me and I asked my nearest neighbor what they were laying aside. He gave me a cool stare and replied in precise English, A man your ageshould know what to receive and reject. And he resumed his chopstick rhythm.

I should—perhaps, but I didnt. Maybe I wasnt as old as he thought—but he had given me no other standard by which to settle the matter.

In a sense the problem is duplicated in the religious world—with far more serious consequences. For those who have no standard other than their experience each new challenge becomes a Rubicon. They may hold back, creed-bound and party oriented, with little hope for freshness and growth; or, they may launch out blindly— to fail or at best to postpone ultimate failure. Gods answer is better than this.

Gods word is truth. (Jn. l7:17) It answers present legitimate spiritual questions, and unborn generations may grow in grace and truth without exhausting its treasures. Best of all, objective obedient faith never fails.

The food? Oh, I ate it all. I was trying to enlarge my borders.