The Book of Answers
By Tony A Grayson
Usually, after disappointment, we find ourselves second-guessing what we did (or failed to do) that led to our unhappy outcome. I believe that failure (as long as it does not kill us or permanently wound us) wakes us up to the value of planning. I am not talking about planning like a grocery list to jog your memory at the vegetable aisle. I mean put some serious thought into what is important to you and your family. Those things of importance should be your goals. When we fail to achieve a goal, we must think about that goal again. Is that goal worthy? Is it achievable? Do we have the means (resources), ways (different paths), and the time to achieve it?
Suppose that we decide that most of our goals are of low importance (every day needs and wants). Lets call them goals for the “Tactical Level.” We might link Tactical Level goals to a higher level. Our goals for our family’s future (our children, our grandchildren, and beyond), our employer’s future (a company that you own or one that provides the means for you to feed, house, and clothe your family), our state, our country, our way of life (society). These goals should be higher than Tactical. Lets call them goals for the “Operational Level.”
Wouldn’t it be great to have a “Book of Answers” to tell us what our Tactical and Operational Goals should be, and all ways to achieve them? Maybe, but if the goals are given to us, we cannot distinguish ourselves. If we have the answers on how to achieve our goals, we will not experience personal failure. With no learning from our mistakes or misfortunes, we cannot enjoy the triumph of achieving our goals.
There is a third level, and many folks consider it to be the highest level: The Strategic Level. In the United States (U.S.), the Strategic Level is all of us (the people of the U.S.). We have elected representation (a President and members of two Houses of Congress), but they are there to make laws and provide responsible execution of the wishes of the people of the U.S. There is a “Book of Answers” at the Strategic Level of the United States. It is called The Constitution, an enduring, guiding document that was collectively authored by the research, thoughts, and opinions of the founders of the U.S. (the Continental Congress) on behalf of the people of Colonial America, who sought self-rule. Strategic Level goals, based on guidance in the Constitution require cooperation by the U.S. people, through their elected representatives, in order to be achieved.
In summary: At the Tactical Level, we form goals for ourselves and our family by understanding our family history, and by staying true to family values. We elevate those goals by supporting the future of our family, our state, and our employer at the Operational Level. In the U.S., we connect as a society by viewing, understanding, and supporting Strategic Level goals found in the Constitution. We monitor the activity of our elected officials, and advise them (communicate with them) in order to keep them focused on our (the people’s) wishes and true to the guiding document (the Constitution). Is that it? If you are a Christian, no. There is level higher than Strategic, and that level looks back at us (like a mirror): This is the “God Level,” his goals for us. Web search John 14:6 and Matthew 28: 17-19.
The Christian Bible is the “Book of Answers” for us to understand God’s goals. The Bible is not written in a way that will bring our understanding to the level of God. Instead, it provides us with a glimpse of God’s interest in and interface with men and women throughout the history of mankind. Learned scholars have spent their lives trying to unravel the mysteries in the Bible in order to have answers, but for most people, the Bible is a reference guide for us to consult as we live our lives. God wants us to be close to him, to recognize him as God, and to conduct our lives as he guides us (adhering to the Ten Commandments is a good start). The Bible is a collection of “Books” that includes guidance from God himself (that he gave to Moses, who wrote the earliest books in the first section of the Bible), as well as other Books that were written by prophets (men who were contacted by God, who commanded them to tell us something specific). These books are organized in a section called “The Old Testament.” This compilation of human interface with God, laced with prophesy, informs us of a pinnacle, a culminating event (the arrival of the Messiah, a savior).
God provided his son, Jesus, as our teacher, as a sacrifice on our behalf, and he became (and still is) the single path for us to return to God by our faith, our trust in him, and our obedience to his guidance. This is how we achieve God’s goal for us. Jesus’ birth, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection fulfilled Old Testament prophecy and established the second (and final) section of the Christian Bible, called “The New Testament.” We must understand stories in the Old Testament, and especially the prophecy that is found there, in order to have context (a basis to understand and clarity of meaning) for the answers found in the New Testament (where we can read the story of Jesus’ three-year ministry). The books there were written by Jesus’ disciples, who wrote of their first-hand experiences as they followed Jesus, and by founders of the Christian Church, after Jesus was crucified, defeated death, and rose to give final guidance to his surviving 11 disciples before he took his place at God’s side. The Apostle Paul was a principle founder of Christian Churches. He provided guidance that is contained in Books found in the New Testament.
The Christian Bible, a book of answers, is available to us online today. We can study it and seek our own way to line up our tactical, operational, and strategic goals with God’s goal for us to return to him. Think of that like returning to your childhood home, to love, safety, warmth, and welcome. Try. Don’t quit. It is a lifelong study. We consult with Jesus (through prayer) to get help as we experience our life. Web search Matthew 18:20. This is a quotation from Jesus, and it is his answer for us on what is the Christian Church. It is two or more people studying the Christian Bible, trying to be true to God’s law, to Jesus’ guidance, and to be like Apostle Paul (loyal and persevering no matter what was thrown at him). Our goals should align with God’s goal for us: Make our way home to him. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus promised to be with us when we try to connect through him with God. Be humble, reverent, advance your knowledge and commitment to find your answers on how to conduct your life. Expect God’s grace. You will experience both happy and unhappy times, but you will never ber alone during your walk home to God.
Resource Box: In the name of Jesus Christ, pray to Father God. Ask him for his grace. Web search what you want to know about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and other subjects in the Christian Bible at the online Bible Gateway, https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=The+bible+gateway Through his grace, you will find hope.
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Rod Washington: Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He also produces news and documentary video projects. Check out his podcast StoriesThisMoment at https://m3e.d71.myftpupload.com/stm-tncn-podcasts/