Monday, January 13, 2014

Truth, Scripture, and My Plans vs. God’s

Bear with me as my musings on Truth veer toward religion. If you’ve read my previous few posts, you know I’ve been chewing on whether or not Truth exists and how important it might be. These are important questions to answer before we can even begin to decide how to deal with various questions such as Is the Bible True?  I hadn't planned on delving into the topic of Scripture and Truth just yet, but now I am going to jump ahead for selfish reasons.

My debut novel is set to release in some stores next week, and then more widely two weeks after that.
What on earth does this have to do with Truth, Scripture, and my plans versus God’s? Well I’m glad you asked.

You see, I’m a bit of a nervous wreck these days. Have you ever worked so hard at something and come so close to reaching your goal that you weren’t certain how you would manage to recover if you failed to cross the finish line? Have you ever run a race with many hurdles and reached the home stretch—one final hurdle—and wondered if you were going to clear it or fall flat on your face? Well, that’s where I am in my writing career. Don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased my book is about to be published by a traditional publisher, but this is not the finish line as far as I’m concerned. I want more. I want my book to succeed. I want readers to like it. I want it to soar up the charts. I want publishers to clamor for a sequel. I want studios to fight over the movie rights. I want its resounding success to establish me as a serious author.

Yes, I have big, selfish plans for this book.
And to my increasing dismay I'm realizing that all my grand plans are completely and utterly out of my control. I gave it my best shot, and now all I can do is wait and see what happens. I want to know now. I want to know how this is going to turn out. I want some sort of reassurance that all will end well. Is there anywhere I can turn for some real answers?

This is the part where I jump ahead. I’ll just come right out and say that I believe in God, and I believe that God has chosen to reveal himself through Scripture. I believe when we read the Bible we can discover Truth. I believe it is the Word of God. I don’t believe all this because my parents taught me or because I learned it in school. No, I’ve spent countless hours reading, seeking, thinking, meditating, talking, asking, discussing, questioning, and I’m still seeking some answers. But as of this very moment on my spiritual journey I sincerely believe I can turn to the Bible and discover Truth.

This can be tricky, though.

Here’s why. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about my plans. Let’s turn to Proverbs 16:3.

If we read the New International Version we find:
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

If we read the New Living Translation we find:
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”

If we read the King James Version we find:
“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

If we read the American Standard Version we find:
“Commit thy works unto Jehovah, And thy purposes shall be established.

If we read the Easy-to-Read Version we find:
“Turn to the Lord for help in everything you do, and you will be successful.

If we read the Orthodox Jewish Bible we find:
“Commit thy ma’asim (works) unto Hashem, and thy plans shall be established.

If we read Young’s Literal Transaltion we find:
“Roll unto Jehovah thy works, And established are thy purposes.”

Okay, I think that’s enough. You get the general idea here. One verse with several different meanings/interpretations depending on which translation you happen to be reading, or dare I say, which translation you prefer. I’ll tell you which translation I prefer. I like the New Living Translation. I think that one could work out best for what I want.

But seriously, we do have a problem here. Or at least I do. Which translation is true? Which interpretation is most correct? Are they all true? I don’t think they all can be correct simultaneously. In some translations it appears as if my plans will succeed as long as I commit my actions to God, while in others it appears as if I must commit my actions to God and then wait for him to establish my plans. So should I form my plans and then commit my actions to God and then bank on success? Or to guarantee success should I first commit my actions to God and then wait for him to establish my plans? I guess I have to know what establish actually means. Does it mean begin/initiate or does it mean finalize as in a well-established truth? Maybe I should just stick with the Easy-to-Read Version, but then again, what does successful mean? Is it MY definition of success? Or someone elses?

In this case, at least to me, the whole Truth of the matter is not so clear. The silver lining is that one thing is VERY CLEAR in all these translations. I must commit my works/actions/everything I do to God. If I can somehow manage to do that, perhaps I won’t even care about my selfish plans or their success any longer.



Michelle Ule said...

Not sure if you remember me from Mt. Hermon, but I just saw your Goodreads ad on Facebook and came over to take a look. Congratulations on your book coming out!

I look forward to reading it!

Michelle Ule

P. D. Bekendam said...

Wow, Michelle, I do remember you! That seems like eons ago. Glad to see you are still writing, and writing well at that. God Bless,

Mark said...

I just read and reviewed your book for Worthy Publishing, and I loved it. Great debut novel. And I needed the message that I, at least, got - that I need to trust God and stop being bound by my fears - though I am nothing like Ben with his phobias and fears :-). Great job on your first book. God bless

P. D. Bekendam said...

Thanks for taking the time to review it, Mark. I am so pleased you found it enjoyable, but more importantly, meaningful. God Bless.