There something powerful when the words are coming from someone who has first hand knowledge. I first saw this with John Madden’s color commentary on American football. His excitement didn’t come from a book, it was experience. His descriptions took you from the sidelines to the middle of the line. It was as if your imagination and the game were one, and you were right in the huddle, going out for the pass, or making the hit! With Madden’s guidance the game took on new dimensions, horizons, and potential. Nothing would ever be the same.
Evidently I wasn’t the only one touched. Turn on today’s news and you find former soldiers describing the intricacies of the battle, giving you far more detail than you ever asked for. Flip the channel and retired professions of all persuasions are sharing a mix of their history and the breaking news story. Everything is gear to give you the inside heart of the story without having to be at risk.
When you do not know much about a subject or carry doubts, then first hand witnesses are quite helpful. One can get the details, see the evidence, and read between the lines without having to do anything. There is isn’t anything inherently wrong with this. The challenge comes in the next steps and choices. Will we accept the testimony and decide to take a step forward using other’s first hand knowledge?
Ironically for most of us the answer is “no”. We accept some witnesses while rejecting others. Most of the time there isn’t a lot of logic, rather we “like” one and “disagree” with the other. With sports this is ok but with matters of life and death we ignore the evidence at our own risk.
When I read the words “I, John, saw all these things with my own eyes, heard them with my ears,” (Revelation 22.8) I wonder. Am I putting myself at risk by ignoring the story? By trusting my senses am I denying God’s gift? The answer is my future. Your answer is yours.