Most of the younger generation believes that the idea Tweeting came into being with them, those of us who have been around awhile know differently. Tweeting is the idea of conveying a message with very few letters or words. Our generation has been doing that for years and years.
It seems that we naturally have a thing for writing encrypted (sometimes shortened) messages in the things we write. When I was in grade school, my friends and I would make up “secret codes” and spend hours writing (on paper) private messages to each other.
As we matured we outgrew simple codes and became more sophisticated in the method and message… we discovered “Vanity License Plates” or “Personalized License Plates” for our cars, trucks and motorcycles. These vary in the United States from state to state, but normally state a message using 5 – 7.5 letters. Other countries follow the same practice, in the United Kingdom they are called, “prestige plate, private number plate, cherished plate or personalized registration”. These license plates sometimes carry special messages designed by the purchaser, sometimes easy and sometimes difficult to decipher.
My wife and I keep an eye out for these plates and try to discover or understand the message they contain. For example we saw a bright lime green car this week on which the plated said, “I NO RIT” or “I know, right!” We supposed it was referring to the uniqueness of the color of the car. Then there was, “MY1VET,” “IMAJEDI,” “DOES185,” “PDOFF,” “H20 WELL, and on of my favorites “AFORDY7,” seen on a 1947 Ford.
I think you can get the idea that we are a pretty clever bunch of beings, but did you realize that God beat us too it in this area. Way back in Exodus 3:13-14 we read, “But Moses replied, “When I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ So what can I tell them? God said, “I am who I am. You must tell them: ‘The one who is called I AM has sent me to you.’”
There has been much speculation regarding the meaning of this message. What does, “I AM” mean, is it a name or a description? I believe it is a description trying to convey the power of the creator of the universe. I like how Matthew Henry’s commentary puts it. He says the message of “I AM” is: “1. That he is self-existent: he has his being of himself. 2. That he is eternal and unchangeable, and always the same, yesterday, to-day, and forever.” I like that description of the message, it may not be exactly what God had in mind when he gave us the three letter message, but then if we live according to his instructions in the rest of His Book, we can find out in person someday, can’t we?
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.