Observe the Truth


I once studied Shakespeare with the renowned British actor Brewster Mason. Each time I would act out the Bard’s words, Brewster would interrupt me and say, “No, no, no, observe the meter, observe the meter!” It wasn’t until years later that I understood what he meant. By breaking up Shakespeare’s verses in ways that “worked for me,” I was losing their meaning. I was trying to make the words serve me, instead of serving the words.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, observe means “to conform one’s action,” to “comply with” or “solemnize” something. In fact, the Latin root means “to serve.”

Is it any surprise, then, that Scripture repeatedly admonishes us to “observe” God’s word? How? By it letting speak to us and through us, not by making God’s word serve us…

But by serving God’s word.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Observe the Truth

  1. We get this backward so often.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pam Webb says:

    What truth through yonder post just broke

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well said. Hope you are all keeping safe and well

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent…I had no idea that that is what “observe” meant! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. numrhood says:

    matthew 53:44-45
    by his stripes
    i am healed


  6. andyd63 says:

    Wow, read the article. then went back and reread the verse. Again….Wow,

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This reminded me of reading with one of my little 4th graders recently (back when we still had school). She was laboriously sounding out each word, sort of getting the story, and enjoying it on a basic level. It occurred to me that, because of her halting rendition,she hadn’t even realized the story was written in verse, despite having read it multiple times. So I pointed this out to her, clapping and reading in a lilting voice. Her eyes lit up and her mouth dropped open. She was suddenly seeing the story on a whole new level, delighting in it more, celebrating as our reading joined the flow of the author’s intention. It occurs to me the same thing can happen when we allow our reading of God’s word, to flow with His intention. We can become not only more willing to obey, but more able, more perceptive and more joyful in that obedience.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. K.L. Hale says:

    I love learning everyday. I will teach others this too. I never knew….but always observed with the “doing” in mind. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. you are welcome into my world 🙋 thank you much

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mitch, this one started me thinking. You have opened an avenue in thinking about observation. Mentioned in a homily, then dropped for the lesson. Great one.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. boromax says:

    Yes. Recently I saw a familiar scripture differently than I had always seen it before (this is happening with me a lot for the past few years, actually). Isaiah 55:11 – the one about His Word not returning void. The context makes it clear that He is talking about when HE sends it forth for HIS purposes, it will not return to HIM void. And I realized how often I have used (and seen/heard others use) this passage as a justification for using His Word to try to accomplish OUR purposes. Further, I thought about when Jesus was confronted by the satan in the wilderness. The adversary used God’s Word to try to trip up the Son. Didn’t work. Void. His Word is powerful, and it is a weapon in our hands (also a balm and a shield and a light…). But if we are wielding it for OUR purposes, we are out of synch.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I imagine the great Shakespearian actors/actresses come to appreciate and even delight in the meter the Bard intended–not just endure it because it’s the right thing to do. The same response occurs with those who study the Bible. The more familiar we become with its truths, the more delight it provides (Psalm 19:9-10).

    Liked by 2 people

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