Helps us see patterns in short sayings of Scripture. Provides an opportunity for us to think about the wisdom of our own lives — and the wisdom we want to develop.
Spend a moment in quiet prayer. If you wish, begin by freewriting for 3-5 minutes. Just let the pen empty out your concerns and thanksgiving for the day. Breathe.
- Better safe than sorry.
- The simplest questions are the hardest to answer. (Northrop Frye)
- The old law of ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everyone blind. (Martin Luther King Jr.)
- Brevity is the soul of wit — from Hamlet (Shakespeare)
- You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. (Anne Lamott)
What kind of content does each part present? Is a virtue or vice identified? A human action or emotion? An assertion about human fate? An animal behavior? A law or rule? A consequence (negative or positive?)
How do the two parts of the aphorisms relate? Are their contrasting words in the two halves (like strongest/weakest; first/last)? Are they related by cause and effect? By time (past, present, future)? Is the aphorism essentially a definition, so that the two halves are synonymous?
The author William Faulkner said, “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
I might create a new aphorism, borrowing the form of Faulkner’s and say, “The author who publishes a novel begins by writing words.”
Or, I could change it completely, this time stealing content, but changing the form — “The man who removes a mountain winds up ruining the landscape and violating Mother Earth.” You get the idea.
Take a moment to breathe and let the playtime settle around you. Carry your curiosity and insights and questions into the day.
Playdates with Scripture by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at virginiawiles.com.
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