All Turned Around

All Turned Around
John W. Hanson

Several years ago a doleful article appeared in a prominent “American newspaper.” It was the account of a twenty year old woman who was grieving the loss of her friend. She told a local reporter that she didn’t remember much about the crash that killed her friend (who was also only twenty years old), except that they were traveling on an interstate near a major city on the West coast when something went terribly wrong. It was 10 pm and they had only been on the freeway for about a mile when suddenly a vehicle entered the exit ramp and slammed, head-on, into their sedan. Her friend died, and she was seriously injured.

How does someone manage to go the wrong way on a divided highway, when the ramps are clearly marked “wrong way”? Wouldn’t oncoming headlights be a clear clue that something was haywire? Sometimes a person can squeeze by with backwards, but many times, as in the case of the accident mentioned above, backwards can be disastrous! On average about 350 people are killed each year nationwide in wrong-way freeway crashes. (Stop. You’re Going the Wrong Way! by Steve Moler)

Consider the implications to having the following things backwards:

* Shoes
* Motorcycle helmet
* Surgical procedure
* 4+2=2
* Almost any manufacturing process
* Your belief system

Recently, in a town nearby, a friend of mine saw something just as backwards and troubling. On the marquee of a local high school was the shocking quote, “Wisdom begins within you.” This may seem like a harmless idea at first, but the premise is sinister and the ramifications could be disastrous. It’s backwards; all turned around.

The impossibility of that statement is easily proven. Put almost any two people in a room and they will differ in at least a few opinions. For example, one person might actually believe it is right to kill a baby that is already partially born while another might see that practice as barbaric. They can’t both be right. If wisdom begins in us, we would all be thinking the same thing. The inventor of that motto has it completely backwards.

The best selling book of all times proposes a very different motto. It says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10) It also proclaims that, “wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” (James 3:17-New Living Translation)
Could it be that some of us prefer the motto on the marquee because it gives us license to make up our own reality? Perhaps, but that is all turned around and the results are disastrous to individuals, families, schools, churches, governments and cultures.

Of course, if Christ lives in you, it might be said that wisdom is within you – but in that case you are not the source so it does not begin within you. I think many in our culture are beginning to see that backwards thinking can be as dangerous as driving the wrong way on the freeway. It is dangerous even if everybody is doing it. My prayer is that our world would experience an awakening that would restore people’s deep respect for the one true living God. If we can get our thinking all turned around we will all be a lot safer – and wiser.

This article “All Turned Around” by John W. Hanson was excerpted from: johnwhanson blog. website. June 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”