My family and I went to the park to have an informal devotional time together. The sun was shining and a light breeze was blowing. It was beautiful outside. We took along the NIV and The Message Bibles. It was lovely to read both versions, and to talk the topics and themes over with each other. I love that kind of interaction. My teen son often has insights that surprise me. It's good to hear how his spiritual mind is working!
Here's one of the passages we read together:
Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV): You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
Same verses; The Message: Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
As you can see, both versions say essentially the same thing, but one is wordier than the other. As a writer, I love the flow and poetry-like sound of The Message. My husband, does, too, but to a lesser extent. He likes the succinct and trim version of the NIV. My son was intrigued by how the two versions compared. These two versions led us to discuss how we're salt to those in our world.
Sometimes, I confess that I don't think I'm as "salty" as I should be...kind of bland. But I realize that I can't make MYSELF saltier; that's a power beyond me. Going to the Source is my only recourse, and He is faithful to restore me in body, spirit, and soul.
At the end of our discussion, we walked to the edge of the woods nearby and played around with the touch-me-nots growing wild there. Their seed pods were full and fragile, and one bump or brush of our fingers caused the pods to explode the seeds out into the air and grass. The wind picked up a few of the thin, light-weight seeds and blew them far from the mother plant. What a spiritual analogy!
I'm grateful that we have family days like yesterday. It takes just a few minutes to plan, and getting outside, where God's touch is evident everywhere, added a dimension to our discussions that couldn't be duplicated at home.
As we transition to autumn, I hope we have more days like yesterday. It's really a matter of choice.