Friday, October 5, 2012

Which Way Is Up?

When Rachel was about nineteen months old, I watched her do something rather interesting.  She loved to look at the pictures in her board books.  One book in particular got a lot of attention for a while.  The title of the book is “I Can…”  Each page shows a cartoon-like baby doing some action.  A single corresponding word is printed on the page.   

A "Mind-Bending" Picture

Rachel flipped through the pages until she came to the page with the word “bend” on it.  The baby in this picture was bending over to touch his toes.  This placed his head so that his face looked back between his ankles.  This must have seemed a bit odd to little Rachel.  Heads aren’t supposed to be at the bottom of the page.  They are supposed to be at the top.  She turned the book upside down to see if that solved the problem.   

Unfortunately, that made the baby girl on the facing page stand on her head.  Rachel turned the book right-side up again so the baby girl looked right, but the "bend" picture was still strange. This was very puzzling. 

She flipped back through other pages and then returned to “I can bend”.  Once again, she flipped the book around to see if it looked any better this time.  It didn’t, of course.  For weeks, every time Rachel came to that page, she would flip the book around, trying to make things look right.  

Another book she loved was a “Veggie Tales” alphabet book.  She did a great deal of flipping with this one.  But then, what do you expect?  It is hard, after all, to know where the eyes should be on a tomato or a cucumber!  There really is no standard for that.

Do We Know Which Way Is Up?
It strikes me that as a toddler, Rachel unwittingly demonstrated an important principle.  When we know the truth, when we know how things are supposed to be, it is easy to recognize when something is not right.  

Rachel had an objective standard to go by with the “I Can…” book.  She knows heads usually are up, not down.  So when she sees a head down by someone’s feet, she knows something is not right.  

Do we know the same thing?  In our world, so many lines are blurred, distorted, even turned upside-down.  Ethics give way to pragmatics.  Morality gives way to “necessity”.    Truth gives way to “little white lies”.   

Do we know God’s Word well enough to be able to tell when something is not quite right?  It is important to have a standard to go by.  Otherwise, we are left with a “Veggie Tales”-type problem, only much more serious.  

Let’s be sure we orient our lives according to God’s standard.  Let’s be sure we know which way is up so we can recognize the “upside-down” when we see it.

Taken from my January 2007 newsletter.


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October 14-16

My ebook, entitled From Captive to Conqueror will be available on on those dates for free. You can find out more about the book now by clicking the title above to go to the Amazon page.

This devotional book explores the riches of 2 Samuel 22. In this passage, we see a person who is struggling mightily in some area of life, and is losing the battle. We see that person finally call out to God for help. We see how God responds to that cry for help, rescues, restores, and equips that former captive to be a conqueror.

I would deeply appreciate it if you would help me during the coming week to spread the word among your friends and family, your church, or small group. If you own a Kindle or a PC and can purchase ebooks from Amazon, you can get this ebook for free between October 14-16. 

God used 2 Samuel 22 in a powerful way in my life. I trust He will use it in your life, as well as in the lives of others you know.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Rosann. I'm off now to read other people's blogs...including yours.

  2. The perspective of a child is often the purest. I've learned a lot from my children about compassion and unconditional love. Concepts that, in my own well "learned" life, I have grown hardened and not as Christ-like. Sometimes they put me in my place. Nicely stated.

    1. I have learned so much from Rachel, too. The neat thing is that she doesn't even know she is teaching me. Coming to God like a little child really gets put into perspective when there is a little one in your own home to see in action all the time.


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