I love a good riddle. They make me think and use that grey matter that God gave me and that is a good thing. Too many people go from day to day in the reactive mode and don’t think about what they are doing or saying and really need to exercise their brains to keep the cobwebs out. They want everything spelled out so that they don’t have to think.
Here is one of my favorite riddles:
A father offers his two daughters to a young man to pick one for marriage. They are identical in looks but they are very different. One is wise, faithful, wealthy, and always tells the truth. The other is foolish, wicked, squanders money and cannot tell the truth. He can have either woman but he must chose by asking only one question. What question should they ask to decide which woman is which? Think about it. Remember one will be lying and the other telling the truth but you don’t know who is who.
Riddles come in many different forms. Some are straight forward like the one I just mentioned and others are simply a collection of happenings that just don’t make sense. Take this week’s sermon for instance. I am working today (Sunday) so we went to the Saturday evening service. The regular preacher is out of town so we had a substitute. I have never heard this preacher before so I had no preconceived notions about him.
The service was about Jesus teaching in the temple and how he was such a great speaker. Yet this preacher was not a very good speaker. I struggled to gain meaning out of what he was saying. In fact at one point I was concentrating so deeply that my wife nudged me and asked if I was ok. He was going over one of my favorite verses; John 8; 32 but it did little for me to hear him reading it. He talked about how people change their actions but not how they truly feel inside in response to things that happen in their lives. He talked about the woman who was brought into the temple for Jesus to judge and how Jesus said for the one who was without sin to be the first judge of her. All good verses but I got nothing. Usually I get something out of the service but for some reason I felt nothing. Nothing at all. So I left feeling empty and lost like when I am told a riddle that I just couldn’t figure out. I guess it will come to me.
Well I am working today. I can’t complain. We really can use the money. End of the year bills you know. The ride in this morning went well. Since it is Sunday, traffic was light. That was a good thing since there is still water on some of the roads after the torrential rain we had on Friday. I was able to drive slowly without having someone running up behind me.
I stopped at a gas station on my way to work and got my morning coffee. Another car pulled up about the same time I did but they weren’t going to work, they were coming from a bar just down the street. It was a silver Cadillac with dark tinted windows. There was music playing so loud that I could feel the vibrations shaking my car. Well I guess some would say it was music. It was a rap song and every other word was a curse word. I won’t even repeat what was being said but it was vile.
The driver rolled his window down to toss out a cigarette butt so I got a look inside. There were 3 very large black men inside all sporting flashy jewelry (bling) and all dressed in black and gold. At the same time, someone else was getting out the other side of the car. It was a young girl and I wondered if she were even old enough to be out all night much less in a bar. She hurried inside just in front of me.
She was a very petite girl and she was wearing clothes that most people would consider trashy. Her jeans were tight and very low cut exposing her thong. She had on a halter top that was two sizes too small exposing her stomach and enough cleavage to make a sailor blush. She had a naval ring, lots of other jewelry and had her hair up with a weave in it. Her face was covered with heavy makeup and she was wearing tall spiked heels.
It didn’t take me long to figure out what kind of girl this was. "What a tramp" I said to myself. After she left and while I was paying for my coffee, the cashier made a similar comment and I agreed with her. In a matter of seconds we were able to evaluate this girl and judge her. When I got outside I saw the Cadillac pulling away and I felt bad about what I had just said. I thought; who am I to judge this woman? I am defiantly not without sin. Although I have been trying to change my actions to be a better person, maybe I need some more work on what is inside. And maybe I need to be more knowledgeable of the truth. So much to think about. There is nothing like a good riddle to make you think. I guess it was a good sermon after all.
Have a blessed Sunday,