God As Author
The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men.
It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture
for its matter. It is all pure… ~John Locke
Many of us have that one book…that one story that we have heard repeated over and over again like clockwork. It takes root within us, a favorite that can be recited from memory. Whether it is the plot, setting, or characters that draws us in, the story sticks with us and we get hooked.
Even though a particular plot becomes all too familiar, the book and the story it contains within continue to hold their value for us. In fact, there is always something to be gleamed from rereading it with “a different set of eyes” in order to derive a new understanding. That is the beauty inherent in a book – the ability to flip back and reread a given passage or chapter in the hopes that doing so provides a new interpretation, casting light on something that was otherwise unclear or ambiguous.
Perhaps a recent life experience makes it possible to relate with a central character in a way that was previously inaccessible. For instance, it may have once been hard to understand why a particular character behaved in a certain way. Now, however, you are able to grasp the magnitude of a character’s decision. What seemed like an unquestionable choice actually proves to be that much more complicated.
You come to gain a new respect for that character, seeing him or her in a new way. The fact is that you cannot judge a character based on superficial pretenses alone. You have to examine the circumstances as the author sees fit, looking beyond only what is written for the additional clues. It is no mistake that this concept carries real-world significance with regards to the erroneous assumptions made in the judgements of others.
If you have every played the game Telephone in your youth, then you can certainly appreciate how jumbled even the simplest of phrases becomes when the message is transferred from one individual to the next. When it comes down to it, Telephone is a game of interpretation as one makes an educated guess based on the allotted parameters. Each player believes he or she hears the message accurately, while acknowledging the external factors at play.
To further this sentiment, consider that a group of individuals (from varied walks of life per age, socioeconomic status, religion, and profession, to name a few factors) sitting in a room could read the same book (or passage for that matter), and nevertheless walk away with different analyses. Although unique in nature, each one is relevant, offering a piece to the puzzle as a whole.
Relatedly, the Bible is a revered book well known by its target audience. While the basic principles of Christianity intrinsic to each verse is understood with the help and guidance of pastors, even fellow members of a congregation, each person derives a different meaning as applicable to his or her own life.
Moreover, we can, with time, see the good that can be gleamed from a bad situation. It just may be that a specific reason for suffering allows for an unforeseen ending to a chapter in the book that is one’s life. We have to learn to contemplate our lives via an honest and self-reflective assessment.
It is important to recognize that we are not the authors of our own lives, merely protagonists (or so we hope!). The true author in our lives is God. He is compiling our biographies as opposed to us writing our own autobiographies. When we challenge His intentions, we are going against our own plots as carefully constructed by God.
When we try to rewrite our own stories to fit our personal needs, that is when disaster strikes and the plot thickens (for better or for worse). Yet, God loves us so much that He bestows us with the authority to edit our own chapters, knowing what is likely to ensue when we are ourselves do not. God is willing to share the pen so that we can express and live out our own lives, exercising free will to the fullest, even if it entails ultimate separation from Him. God literally loves us that much!