Monday, January 16, 2017

Making Asssumptions

But others in the crowd were mocking. “They’re drunk, that’s all!” they said….(Peter): Some of you are saying these people are drunk. It isn’t true! It’s much too early for that. People don’t get drunk by nine o’clock in the morning.” Acts 2: 13, 15

Strolling at a beach Ed and I noticed a man trudging down the sand dragging a few large rocks behind him. What a strange thing to do, we thought. Why on earth would someone do that? A crowd of onlookers soon gathered and started voicing their assumptions. He must be preparing to climb a mountain…He must be carrying his cross….it’s something religious….Curiosity got the best of us so Ed ran over to him and asked him why he was pulling rocks for miles? “For building up endurance,” he replied. Whoops - our assumptions were wrong.

My husband conversed with a conservatively dressed Muslim man who had a big bushy beard. He looked scary to us. A dangerous fundamentalist? We assumed the man would want to avoid talking with "the infidel" and that there would be a theological argument in no time flat. Not so. He was eager to have a friendly conversation.

We were at a citizenship ceremony where another conservative looking Muslim man stood to his feet, ready to declare his oath to be a loyal and faithful Canadian. It was as if a corporate silent assumption, filled with questions and reservations, blanketed the air. How quick we make assumptions by how someone looks!

We see a Muslim woman dressed in black cloak and face veil. She must be a strict Muslim, we assume. Or we see a Muslim woman dressed in western attire and assume she would not be much of a Muslim. It could well be that the niqabi woman is dressed conservatively because her culture or family dictates that but inwardly is not as conservative as she appears. And the western clothed Muslim woman might surprise us that Islam, the Qur’an and her prophet Mohammed are actually quite important to her.

We make assumptions that the Muslim can not possibly know God, is spiritually resistant to the Gospel, and when she prays her prayer could not possibly be valid or heard by God. If she is a woman not empowered we assume she could not make an independent decision to follow Christ. We can assume that a Muslim friend has closed the door to further visits because she is afraid of us, husband is not allowing a friendship, is too busy, must be offended by something, or a host of other assumptions which may actually be entirely wrong. We can assume Muslim women who don’t make good eye contact with us when we meet them don’t like us or don’t want to talk to us. If she does not phone us we assume she does not want contact. When she does not eat our food we assume it is because she does not like it. We can't understand why an abused woman does not make use of her legal rights and jump to various assumptions. The truth of the matter is we may never really know the reasons. I have done this for decades but have now come to realize that making assumptions is rather futile and most of the time my assumptions have proven to be wrong. I am gradually learning to leave the matters unexplained in God`s hands, ask God to release me from analyzing, and keep pressing onward.

Dear heavenly Father, please help me to stop analyzing everything. In Jesus’ name, Amen.