Cross Training

cross-trainingDon’t Jump

“The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.”(Proverbs 18:17)

In Norton Juster’s novel, The Phantom Tollbooth, Milo, Humbug, and Tock find themselves on the Island of Conclusions:

“Now will you tell me where we are?” asked Tock as he looked around the desolate island.

“To be sure,” said Canby; “you’re on the Island of Conclusions. Make yourself at home. You’re apt to be here for some time.”

“But how did we get here?”asked Milo, who was still a bit puzzled by being there at all.

“You jumped, of course,” explained Canby. “That’s the way most everyone gets here. It’s really quite simple: every time you decide something without having a good reason, you jump to Conclusions whether you like it or not. It’s such an easy trip to make that I’ve been here hundreds of times.”

“But this is such an unpleasant-looking place,” Milo remarked.

“Yes, that’s true,” admitted Canby; “it does look much better from a distance.”

Jumping to conclusions comes quite naturally. Hear some juicy gossip—jump. See something suspicious—jump. Your things not where you thought you left them—jump.

The verse above encourages us to stay put and gather more information before we take a flying leap. Think of Mary and Joseph and a certain unexpected and early (as in before the wedding) pregnancy. No one likes to be judged before all the facts have been presented, so give others the benefit of the doubt. As Tock, Milo, and Humbug will tell you, getting back from the Island of Conclusions requires a long swim.

Questions:

Describe our ability to reason. How does it work?

Does this ability come from God? Why?(Exodus 4:10-12)

Do you think we have a tendency to jump? Why?

How do we reconcile this ability to reason with a tendency to jump to conclusions?

When have you jumped and regretted it? Has anyone jumped to a conclusion regarding you?

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