Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak?Acts 17:18-19 NKJV
Vine tells us that the word translated “babbler” could be literally rendered as “seed picker.” In this context, it connoted a man who picked up scraps of information from various sources and then tried to pass himself off as knowledgeable. In other words, the intellectual elites of Athens disdained Paul as common and uneducated, but they found his message to be sufficiently intriguing or entertaining that they wanted to hear more. They were, of course, quite mistaken about Paul. He was highly educated, to the extent that he no doubt had the first-century equivalent of a Ph.D in theology.
By contrast, I really am a seed picker. I have no academic credential, but am largely self-taught, having picked up bits of knowledge from many different sources over the three-and-a-half decades since I left college. I have also worked in a number of different trades/professions: carpenter, pest control technician, evangelist, software engineer. Throughout all of my changes, some things have remained constant: I have always sought truth, I have always enjoyed sharing what I learned, and I have always loved writing.
Another constant in my life is that I have always made lots of mistakes, from minor errors to blatant, willful sins. I haven’t committed any “big” sins (murder, assault, grand theft, etc.), but, to my shame, I’ve done just about everything else at some point in my life. So, rather than instructions on how to succeed from someone who’s accomplished great things, this blog will have reflections and lessons learned from someone who’s made nearly every mistake in the book, yet somehow managed not only to muddle through, but to enjoy a really good life.