Color is the first thing. It absolutely floors me that Bausch and Lomb, the company that makes products for visually impaired people, insists on printing coupons with the expiration date printed in white letters on a pastel background. There is no better way to make the letters completely disappear, except to never put them on there in the first place. There must be a stark contrast for us to see what's there, and color tends to make it worse. Gray letters on white is another difficult combination. I find myself thinking they really don't care about us after all, or maybe they just don't want us to use their coupons so they will make more money. Neither option is good PR.
Contrast is not always simple either. Over and over I will see an ad on television with nice dark letters in the middle of the screen, but have to turn aside quickly or cover my eyes because the background is a blinding white. Even when I can stand the white background, it still spills over onto the letters and nearly obliterates them. Far better a black background with white letters so the background glare is minimal, as on this blog. If you just can't make yourself use white on black, at least make the white background something besides pure, blinding white, like ivory or cream. Unless you don't care whether people can actually read it or not.
I was sitting in a doctor's office last week with my husband, not an eye doctor this time so it was not quite so ironic when I looked at the sign on the wall across from where we sat and couldn't read it. Sometimes if I look long enough I can figure words out by their shape and the context. (Another lesson, don't make the print as small as you think you can—err on the side of too large.) As usual someone decided to get pretty. The letters were a nice dark print on a muted white—until it reached the punchline, the part they really wanted you to see. At that point, the words were printed pale aqua on white. We had a bit of a wait, so I kept working at it and finally came up with this, based more on how the words were shaped because that is all I could really see of that "important" phrase:
"Sleep apnea is causing your husband's hot baked potato."
Okay, so obviously that was wrong. There was no context at all that I could imagine which included potatoes with apnea. So I kept working at it. About fifteen minutes later, based upon my own knowledge of sleep apnea (Keith has it) and what it causes, I realized that "hot baked potato" was actually "high blood pressure." About then, the neurologist finally arrived and I never did read the rest of the sign. Good thing I didn't need to.
I believe that some of us have similar problems with the Bible. We are so certain that it's simple—it is—that we forget that it is also deep, that we can study the same parts for years and still discover new things. You must work at it to get it all. But for many it's just too much trouble. "Why do we have to know all this stuff anyway?" which can also be taken as, "Why do I have to learn anything else about God? I'm saved and that's all that counts." Try that on your spouse sometime. "Why do I need to know anything else about you? We're married and that's all that counts." I don't think so.
Proverbs 10:23 is enlightening here. Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, and so is wisdom to a man of understanding.
Did you catch that? If you are wise, that is, if you are not a fool, you find pleasure in learning. And learning about God and His Word should be the greatest pleasure you can imagine. When we eagerly make time for anything else, even if it isn't wickedness, but neglect our Bible study, we are not exactly the sharpest pencil in the box ("wise").
God made it as easy as He could—He did not print white letters on a pastel background. It takes Divine effort to save so many copies of a manuscript for thousands of years and have it be obvious that it is indeed still correct and in some way miraculous, whether anyone else wants to believe that or not. Now it's time for a little effort from us, a little sacrifice in time, a little deep thinking instead of just rattling off catch-phrases and thinking that makes me holy and righteous.
God didn't count on us trying to suss out the shape of the words; He made it plain to see. If we won't do our part, it isn't just laziness, it's rejection of Him and His Word, and it shows a whole lot more about us than we seem to realize. Please show Him that you do care about something besides this transient world and its carnal pleasures. Show Him that you want to know more about Him and to develop a deep and lasting relationship with a Father who cares so much that you won't find a hot baked potato when what you really need is His Blessed Presence.
Hear the word of Jehovah, you children of Israel; for Jehovah has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor goodness, nor knowledge of God in the land…My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you…seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. Hos 4:1,6