Monday, March 22, 2010

One Liners...

I love one liners, don't you? Best I remember, Rodney Dangerfield always did one liners. With the Adult ADD thing I've got going, I don't think that I have the attention span for a full joke, so one liners are perfect for me. Here are a few:

"I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way, so I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness."
"Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience"
"I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car."
"The last thing I want to do is hurt you...but it's still on the list."
"Light travels faster than sound...that's why some people appear intelligent until you hear them speak."
"If I agreed with you...we'd both be wrong."

"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit...wisdom is not putting it into a fruit salad."
"Politicians and diapers have one thing in common...they should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason."

I could keep going. I found one liners about politicians, church, cops, sex, kids, and the list just goes on and on. Most of them are good for a giggle, and some are even good for a snort. They're short, to the point, and usually have some degree of truth to them. But one liners are not always jokes. They make for great church signs too. Here's a few of those:

"Body piercing saved my life."
"Don't make me come down there. - God"
"If you live as if there's no God, you'd better be right."

And that's not even getting into the really cheesy ones like:

"This church is prayer conditioned."
"The best vitamin for a Christian is B1."

And I could go on and on.

Blogging every day has opened my eyes to something over the past few weeks. There are a lot of one liners in scripture. Not jokes, mind you, although some of them are good for a giggle. Just one or two sentences, almost random thoughts, dropped into a conversation, a narrative, or some kind of list. This morning, I found two of them.

One was right in the middle of a narrative, the other at the end of the readings for today. I intentionally did not grab my bible to see what was next, and maybe I should have, but today's readings from Joshua end with, "Then the land had rest from war." I love that! But it's so random.

Before it, there is this breakdown of who got what as they conquered the promised land, and what group would settle in which area. I have to admit, it kind of bogged me down. It would have made for some good bedtime reading, but then there it was. One sentence that caused me to sit up and pay attention. I really want to peek into tomorrow's readings and see if it says anymore about it, but I think I'll just live with the tension today. "Then the land had rest from war." Mull that over tonight.

The other one I found is even more random. It's in Joshua 13. Before I go there, do you remember the blog about Balaam from a couple weeks ago? Balaam had been called out by Balak to call a curse down on Israel as they camped at his back door, but Balaam said that he would only speak what God told him to. He was the one with the donkey that turned around and started talking to him. Long story short, he would not curse the people of Israel for Balak, and then we don't hear much more about him...until today.
I told you it was random. Just one line, buried in a narrative, that if you were reading quickly you might read over completely. Here is what it says: "In addition to those slain in battle, the Isrealites had put to the sword Balaam, son of Beor, who practiced divination." (Joshua 13:22)

Two things: Why did they feel it necessary to kill the one who would not bring a curse down on them, and two, why did the writers feel it necessary to tell us about it here? I don't have an answer for either of them, and this part of scripture certainly doesn't give us anything to go on, but it does make me think. If I have read these stories before and missed these one liners, what other one liners have I missed?

This is where theology gets fun. I've talked before about looking at the big picture and not getting bogged down in the details, and that's still the way I operate...but sometimes, looking only at the big picture might cause you to miss something, like "What in the world happened to the guy that talked to his donkey?" Well, now you know. They killed him.

So, keep looking at the forest, but if there is a really unusual tree sticking out from the ones around it, stop and take a look at it. You never know what that one tree might be trying to say.
It may be a one liner, it may be some detail that will open up the story in a new way. Who knows?

Oh, one more one liner and then I'll stop: "The evening news is where they begin with, 'Good Evening,' and then tell you why it isn't." Oh man, I kill me.


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