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  • Martin Kirkbride

Thought For Today: A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. Chapter one opens with dynamic precise wording:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us”

These juxtapositions can serve to remind us that two opposing or contrary statements can be true at the same time. It is dependent on where you find or see yourself in a given situation and from what perspective you are viewing the situation from. This is demonstrated in an old fable about six men blind from birth who lived in India. One day they decided to visit a nearby palace. When they arrived, there was an elephant standing in the courtyard. The first blind man touched the side of the elephant and said, “An elephant is like a wall.” The second blind man touched the trunk and said, “An elephant is like a snake.” The third blind man touched the tusk and said, “An elephant is like a spear.” The fourth blind man touched the leg and said, “An elephant is like a tree.” The fifth blind man touched the ear and said, “An elephant is like a fan.” The sixth blind man touched the tail and said, “An elephant is like a rope.” Because each blind man touched only one part of the elephant, none of them could fully envisage or understand what an elephant is really like.

How we view or perceive something or someone can significantly affect or restrict our understanding. How we perceive and experience Jesus impacts what we understand of him. My passion for bible study is not just that we might know more of him, but that in exploring his Word we might know him more. What we understand of him has impact on how we seek to model our lives on him.

‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work’. 2 Tim. 3:16-17

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