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South Texas Living

We can learn God

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On the Road to Forever
May 8, 2013 | 2,590 views | Post a comment

I guess it’s no secret I literally flunked English in high school but graduated anyway. Wouldn’t happen today, I don’t guess. There’s simply far too much structure and too many rules for me. I just like to have fun with words and express myself in simplicity. I think some of our mental instability stems from years of learning and understanding our Americanized language. Think about this: There is no egg in eggplant; nor ham in hamburger; neither pine nor apple is in a pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England nor were French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet at all, are meat. In English we find that quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is not from Guinea nor is it a pig. Why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groc, and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, two geese. Why not one moose, two meese?

Doesn’t it seem odd you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends, and you get rid of all of them except one, what would you call it? We know vegetarians only eat vegetables, so what do humanitarians eat? Do you realize that people recite at a play and play at a recital? Why do we ship by truck and send cargo by ship? We even have noses that run and feet that smell! How can a slim chance and a fat chance mean the same thing while a wise man and a wise guy are opposite?

One has to marvel at the lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down. And then there’s the classic; when an alarm is activated and turns on to alert us and we say, “I heard the alarm going off.” English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, isn’t a race at all. That’s why, when the stars are out, they are visible and when the lights are out, they are invisible. Here’s one in parting. Why doesn’t Buick rhyme with quick? I dunno.

Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday school. “Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely. Then, he radioed headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge, throwing Pharaoh’s army into the water and all the Israelites were saved.” His mother asked, “Joey? Is that really what your teacher taught you?” “Well, no,” he replied. “But if I told it the way the teacher did, you’d never believe me!”

[Matthew 13:1-23 & Acts 28:17-31] Jesus, in his parable of The Sower, and Paul, as he defended himself before the Jewish leaders and preached to them Jesus in Rome, quoted Isaiah 6: 9-10, concerning the learning and understanding of God’s Word. We spend much time keeping up with the trendy things of the day and growing in the ways of the world, but we don’t seem to find the time to enrich our relationship with God. We have a way of looking at God in troubled times as though he were a lifeboat to sit in until someone else comes to rescue us, all the while watching our worldly Titanic sink before our eyes.

Personally, the closer I get to God, the more I understand His will for my life, the less life disappoints me and the more He supports me. I don’t want to be just a “stump in the land” (Isaiah 6:11-13), I want to grow in, and be loved by my God.

Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at Find his column on his blog at

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