The filters of our understanding

From time to time, we should take a look at the filters from our own background, our lives and experiences to see what actually impacts the questions we choose to ask, and, perhaps consider the questions we are not yet asking. Many times we assume not only the questions to be asked but also the answers. I have often wished that I had had the opportunity to read the Bible for the first time without the burden of everyone’s explanations telling me what it’s all about. The singular perspective of the first read is a gift wherein we may find questions to be answered rather than stories to reinforce ideas; two very different things.
Below, is a short book review before the fact if you will.
I think it illustrates what is missing from our approach to spiritual things today.
Pause for a moment
On embarking on my first reading of Ruins, by Morgan Meis
I love first reads
The pure virgin ink of ideas
No baggage
No assumptions
Like fresh snow in the morning
Once you have walked through it
It will never be the same
So I sit with my new copy of Morgan’s book
Hesitant to take the first step
Gazing at the cover
Knowing that once it has begun
Like the arrow of time
There is only one way through
And what remains in the wake carries with it
The burden of hindsight
Of insight
Devoid of the singularly spontaneous gasps of the first read
And I, like a burglar, having reaped the spoils
leave behind a trail of fingerprints and clues
to haunt future readings

That’s the problem with the Bible
We are given the answers
before we have discovered the question
As it says
The crooked is made straight,
the mountains are leveled and the valleys
filled in
But not in a good way
rather in a safe-ish way
It’s not the fault of the text
But rather the rape of the first read

So therefore
After my curried rice and roasted vegetables
Without the benefit of a movie trailer
With the cell phone turned off
And the room lights turned down low
I will sit beneath the silent watchful eye of my reading lamp
take my first step into the hushed frozen landscape
And listen intently with my eyes
For that which will not come again

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