Relinquishing Control

from the pen of Jeff Joyner

I remember as a kid, my older brother got a brand new English Racer bicycle for Christmas. I was shocked at how nice it was, but instead of being happy for him, I became very jealous. What made it more difficult, was that he wouldn’t let me ride it, since he thought it was too big for me to handle. From that moment on, I was determined to prove him wrong, and began attempting to control and manipulate him into letting me ride his bike.

As the days went by, it was clear, he was not going to let me anywhere near his bike. This went on for some time, although I remained persistent. One day, much to my delight, he finally gave in, and said I could ride his bike just once, down the hill of our street. I felt my persistence had paid off. Basking in this personal victory, I confidently walked his bike up the hill, climbed on, and began my journey down. It didn’t take me long to realize, that I was going faster than I had ever gone before, on any bicycle. As I began to apply the pedal brakes to slow down, something unexpected happened. Instead of stopping the bike, the pedals kept spinning backwards. What I did not know, was that the brakes were on the handlebars, not the foot pedals. By the time I reached the bottom of the hill, I was going so fast, that I began to lose control, and eventually crashed into the side of a neighbor’s house. I learned that day, that patterns of control and manipulation, could never assure me of success. In fact, it led me straight into a brick wall. And it would be a long time, before I would be able to regain the trust of my brother again. Jesus said in Matthew 16:25: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” A clear reminder that, If we are but willing to relinquish control of our lives to the Lord, we can be fully assured, that He will be faithful to direct our steps, light our way, and lead us safely home.

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Psalms‬ ‭37:3‬

Sometimes There Are Answers. Or Not

Some time ago, maybe years ago, I wrote a post about the mysterious Voynich manuscript. This manuscript is a 15th century document containing bizarre drawings and an indecipherable language. Anyone who knows me at all understands why I would be interested in such a weird document. In case you missed that post, I will include a few pictures of the manuscript for you to puzzle over.

There have been several ‘translations’ of the manuscript in the last five years. One scholarly gentleman claimed it was written in a sort of abbreviated Latin and that it was a guide to women’s health. I’m not sure the pictures agree with that interpretation. Another expert found it to be Hebrew, but a secret coded Hebrew. His decoder ring was found to be in error. More recently, an electrical engineer claimed to recognize the language as an ancient style of poetic Turkish. He then translated portions of the book as proof of his hypothesis. His hypothesis was not very well accepted as he was accused of making assumptions and then using his assumptions to prove his assumptions. I guess unproven assumptions are frowned upon as evidence. Something I wish the internet at large would learn.

Other opinions have focused on herbal remedies, therapeutic bathing, and astrological readings. Ultimately, in spite of many attempts to decipher this manuscript, no satisfactory answers have been found. The lesson I’m focused on here is twofold. First, we should always seek to understand the world and the ideas of the world. Second, we should accept that we often will not be able to understand the world and the ideas of the world. It is better to say “I don’t know yet” than to invent bizarre unprovable explanations for things.