Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Don't Know Everything Anymore

The older I get, the fewer things I am sure of.

You would think that with each successive year, more things would be securely nailed down, but I am becoming much more comfortable in saying, "I don't know," and thinking that is okay. I don't need to know everything.

I remember with embarrassment some of the passionate and pompous pronouncements of my youth.

I hope that now a little humility has pushed aside the certainty with which I held forth on certain subjects.

It is a little disconcerting to be unsure of some things, but I believe it is part of the journey of discovering truth.

I have some questions for God; I don't understand everything, but I do have some core certainties and they are enough for now.

I don't believe that God is threatened by questions, and I do believe that there are answers. That is one of my core certainties.

I turned on my car radio recently in the middle of a call-in show. The host identified himself as Jewish, and he was in dialogue with a Christian minister. I got the impression that the host was non-religious, but I sensed an undercurrent of genuine curiosity beneath the polite banter.

I was sorry that the minister didn't seem to take the time to listen more deeply, but simply confidently repeated facts as he believed them. He seemed so matter of fact and dispassionate--as if the facts were the important thing and not the human being at the other end of the microphone. I could hear my voice in his, in past conversations with my father.

Jesus often asked more questions when someone questioned him. He, who had all knowledge, did not give easy answers, but led people on a journey of discovery on a much deeper level. And then he would challenge them to take the next step. He counfounded lawyers, yet said that the Kingdom of God would be found by by those who received it as children .

With age we gain more wisdom, but are sure of fewer things. Perhaps that is what true wisdom is. But only perhaps...

Love
When our hope is hard to find
And our faith is in decline
We need a cause to
Stand behind - love

We all want the way it feels
Time it comes and time it steals
What remains, what is real - love

There is love
There is forgiveness
There is love in times of need
When life is cold
There is a promise
You will never go without...
There is love

It heals the sick
Comforts the weak
Breaks the proud
Raises the meek
In this life no guarantees...

Love is the answer
Love will find a way
When we love one another
It's a brighter day

Chris Tomlin

8 comments:

Susan said...

It makes sense all right...

Thankyou! (Again!)

Marilyn said...

Amen.
"Ouch" to hearing the minister not listening but rushing ahead to speak his own thoughts! I heard my voice as well - in earlier days, I hope.

I wonder lately if a good prayer isn't so much, "Lord, what should I TELL this person?" but "How can I assist this person see and take the next step YOU have for him/her?"

At 18 or 19, I went for advice to a trusted older woman. Her response: "Have you prayed about this? What is God telling you?" I wanted so much for her to GIVE me the neatly-packaged-and-tied-with-a-bow answer to my question, but she really gave me something better.

Marilyn said...

Amen.
"Ouch" to hearing the minister not listening but rushing ahead to speak his own thoughts! I heard my voice as well - in earlier days, I hope.

I wonder lately if a good prayer isn't so much, "Lord, what should I TELL this person?" but "How can I assist this person see and take the next step YOU have for him/her?"

At 18 or 19, I went for advice to a trusted older woman. Her response: "Have you prayed about this? What is God telling you?" I wanted so much for her to GIVE me the neatly-packaged-and-tied-with-a-bow answer to my question, but she really gave me something better.

Marilyn said...

Oh, my. I'm getting into the habit of double-clicking and ending up with duplicate comments. Sorry. I'll be more careful. :-)

Belinda said...

Some things are worth hearing twice Marilyn. I am relieved that my point was clear. I worried that people would think that I had lost my faith or didn't know what I believed. I have essential core certainties on a strong foundation. Come to think about it, Jesus boiled things down to little things like, "Here oh, Israel, the Lord your God is one. You must love him with all your heart, and your neighbour as yourself."

Belinda said...

Whoops that should have been, "Hear" not "Here."

Dave Hingsburger said...

Oh, man does this make sense to me ... you have spoken directly to my experience, directly to my heart ... the older I get I find that I question more ... but I enjoy not being so swift to certainty, I enjoy ... thinking, praying, searching much more than pronouncing, judging and dismissing. I agree so much with you that God doesn't mind questions ... I think sometimes that God must be sitting in heaven some times thinking, 'Enough with the praise, could someone just talk with me, a bit of conversation, perhaps a debate!' there are so many biblical examples of when God entered into converation - and listened well and reconsidered in light of what was said. These, to me are the most exciting passages of the bible. I'm rambling, but I loved this piece and it got me ... thinking.

Belinda said...

Oh Dave, thank you. Thank you for painting such a picture of Our Father; a father who is about relationship, and communion and community; a father who waits to hear from us, and who welcomes dialogue and even silence before him. I too, think he sometimes thinks, "Will they ever stop talking so that I can say something?"