Today for devotions I took the staff through an interesting exercise. We read Psalm 23 from three different versions of scripture: the KJV, the NIV and The Message. As we read each translation I had the staff circle the passages or words that jumped out at them the most. The interesting thing was that everyone selected something totally different in each translation/paraphrase. Even though the meaning is the same in each the different phrasing drew emphasis to different parts of the passage. Makes me realize that when I am studying scripture there is real value to taking a peek at other translations. Anyhow, the experience caused me to draw a parallel in my life.
Everything I do can have different "translations." Depending on the day my translation may be the "Woe is Me" translation. Or maybe it's the "Super Dad" translation. And there are many others. So I am wondering what it might look like if in the midst of any given situation if I took just a minute to stop and thing about what other translation I could apply.
An example: Every night I give Joanne a little help with her shower. The last thing I do before I help her put on her PJs is that I get on the floor and dry off her feet. Now obviously I look at this activity as the "Servant Husband." Here I am, the selfless guy drying Joanne's feet for her so we can get those jammies and her night brace on. Problem is I get the "Servant Husband" crossed with the "Woe is Me Husband" too often. After all, crawling around the bathroom floor is not the greatest. But what if I looked at this activity through another lens. What if I looked at it through the "Bringer of Joy Husband." Joanne LOVES this time of day. She loves her showers, and her jamies and crawling into bed all clean and shiny. So can I celebrate her joy with her? Of course I can! I just need to read from a different translation. How much cooler to be the "Bringer of Joy!"
Example number two: I drive Audrey to school each morning instead of making her take the bus. Can you guess the translation I read when I have to get up so early every morning to complete this task? "Poor Selfless Dad!" Here I am, poor me, dragging myself out from under the warm covers to face the day about an hour earlier than I would like. And boy, when I look at it through this translation Audrey definitely picks up on it! She isn't fooled. She knows I am feeling sorry for myself and maybe just a little resentful of her. But my other translation, and the far better one is "Listening Dad." I get a whole 20 minutes in the car just me and Audrey; I get to hear about her expectations for the day, any concerns she has, what she is looking forward to. I get let in to her life. Wow, to be "Listening Dad" is such a privilege whereas "Poor Selfless Dad" gives me a false sense of entitlement...and grumpiness.
So that's what I want to think about and work on. What translation am I in today? What are some of your favorite translations?