I remember when I was giving a lecture once to a group of students in the mid-nineties. My subject on this particular course was the legal component and I was talking about the risk of making assumptions. As I am hard of hearing myself, I used the example of a car driver making the assumption that the pedestrian about to cross the road would hear the car coming when this might not be the case at all. It would be no defence to say that the pedestrian had not looked round, there is an obligation on the driver to be sure that the presence of any pedestrian is taken into account.
Just as a little aside, it so happened that some time later I read a list of various excuses drivers had given to their insurance companies and one chap had said this. “She was there in front of me so I ran into her”!! Had he been taught where the brake pedal was? My own little grumble is regarding cyclists on pavements who appear to make assumptions that they can be heard approaching.
The other day I came across an article in my Word for Today that was also making a point about assumptions. It was rather more amusing than my own and I wish I could have used it in my lecture. It tells of a lady who purchased a packet of biscuits at an airport to eat on the plane. She was seated next to a man on the plane and at some point during the journey she looked down and saw biscuits in the possession of the man and he was eating one. Somewhat peeved she leaned over and took one to eat in order to get her point across but the man carried on eating them. She did the same and she was even more startled when they came to the last biscuit. The man picked it up, broke it in half and gave one half to the lady. To say she was not best pleased was an understatement. Another surprise waited her because when she got off the plane she opened her bag and there sat the packet of biscuits she had purchased. Oops – oh crumbs!
Of course, the article was making a serious point about the folly of making assumptions without any evidence. It may be about a person, a minister, the deacons or any number of situations within a church that might be to the detriment of the fellowship. It was suggested that the biggest danger in making false assumptions is that when we do so we do not usually change our minds. It is not a problem where there is sufficient evidence to say that two and two make four, it can have serious consequences when we get the total wrong. All crumbs and no biscuit!