Bushel

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Bushel: (n) a measure of capacity

The Good Book was written in ancient Mesopotamia, translated in Merry Old England when men wore powdered wigs, and is now trying to be understood by a Smart Phone generation.

Problematic.

One of the examples that immediately jumps to mind is that Jesus suggested that we should not hide our aspirations, talent and insight “under a bushel.”

That was the King James translation.

Dare I say that most of the people in this country under the age of thirty have probably never seen a bushel of anything.

Most of them would think the word “bushel” is a mispronunciation of our 43rd President.

Yet truth leaps over generational gaps and maintains its integrity. Therefore we should take obscure terms and translate to make them comprehensible. (And by the way, the more emotionally charged we can make that presentation, to give it lasting quality in the human spirit, the better.)

Therefore, what was once translated from the Good Book writers as a “bushel” really is a prison cell–a place where we lock ourselves up and cease growing because the fear of failure, inadequacy, and even the apprehension over accidentally doing something evil has left us lying on our bunk, biding time.

We’re still alive, we’re still breathing, we’re still consuming three square meals a day and every once in a while we stroll through the court yard. But we desperately try to avoid confrontations and we shower in fear.

A bushel is where you gather an abundance.

There is so much fruit that you can’t put it in a bag.

A little box won’t contain it.

It needs a bushel basket.

If we don’t believe that God has called us to be fruitful, we will arrive with a tiny teacup instead of showing up with a gallon jug.

 

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Actual

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

 

Actual: (adj.) existing in fact, typically contrasted with what was expected: e.g. the estimate was much less than the actual cost.

 We were unmerciful.

A friend and I were listening to my wife talk on the phone as she was explaining her intentions. We began to count on our fingers the number of times she said, “actually.”

It was a giggle fest.

I think we ticked her off a bit. As we all know, it’s difficult enough to communicate your ideas without having to contend with receiving a grade card.

I sensed her frustration. She was desperately trying to explain to the person on the other end of the phone that her words were factual. In a day and age when lying is the national pastime and a series of reality shows are some of the most unrealistic situations available, we find ourselves feeling the need to corral the truth into an area where we can “pony up” our ideas, punctuating them by pledging their accuracy.

I do it sometimes by inserting the word “honestly.” I so want people to understand that I’m sincere that I feel the need to have my words notarized by some stamp of authenticity.

Maybe that’s the whole point of our journey. Perhaps we’re trying to get to the juncture that what is “actual” doesn’t frighten us anymore, we don’t need to embellish on it, and therefore don’t need to keep insisting it’s true.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Wouldn’t it be terrific if we took seven days of our lives—oh, forget that. Let’s try for one.

Yes, a single twenty-four-hour period where we attempt to present the actual. Let the chips fall where they may. Let the criticism come in if it’s needful. And let the praise for truthfulness be our reward.

Maybe I should practice. Here I go. What is my actual today?

  • I feel ok, but I’m not walking very well.
  • I am a blessed man in the fact that I get to write to you every day via this medium.
  • But who knows how many people read it? So keep a lid on my vanity.
  • As far as being a father, I have successfully raised a nice little peck of children, providing a bushel of love, but the harvest will be up to them.
  • I wouldn’t call myself a great husband. Maybe it’s because no one ever explained the job very well. Matter of fact, we spend our entire adolescence around people of the same sex, when the rest of our lives will be primarily spent with someone of the opposite.
  • I still have prejudice, I’ve just decided to stop being fussy about it or follow through on its insistence.
  • I like to laugh much more than cry, but in the process of laughing I do discover things that are worthy of my tears.
  • I find that the more I deal with my actual feelings, the purer my heart becomes and the more optimistic I become about life.

So even though we had a little bit of a cruel streak when we laughed at my wife about her overuse of the word “actually,” all of us could benefit from just ceasing to be afraid of what truly is and realize that the only way to change it is to start out … with the truth.