Thirty-Something Questions

Portrait of Woman Outdoors, Reading BookThere was that day in her garden when I helped my aging mother a little too much. “Stop treating me like a doddering old fool!” she said. I had no idea back then what doddering meant. I looked it up. Feeble. Senile. Mom was neither of those things, but my thirty-something self had noticed that her sixty-something hands looked old. Instead of working in her garden all day, she enjoyed resting there soaking up her surroundings and talking with God. She talked with God a lot. Doddering? No. But Mom had changed. Her youthful days of analyzing thoughts and reaching for dreams had given way to a settled, wise maturity.

I wouldn’t understand her transformation until I reached the age when others might treat me like a doddering old fool. I’m there now. I’ve become my aging mother, and I understand.

85987_30ishWhen I was in my thirties I sometimes rode the Amtrak train to Chicago. As my train sped toward the city, other trains raced past going the opposite direction. They materialized as a split-second blur of shadow and light and then they disappeared. The trains were a lot like my thirty-something thoughts. Questions and concerns raced by: Who am I? Where am I going? Who do I want to be? Why are relationships hard? Why is life tough? What if? . . .

WHAT IF!!

I understand now that all of those worries were meaningless.

An aging man named Solomon wrote The Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon was neither doddering nor a fool. He was a wise king, and Ecclesiastes is his story about wisdom. It begins with a man pondering thirty-something questions. Nothing in his world gives him a sense of meaning or peace. But, by the end of the book the man has become transformed and settled—much the way my mother had become. He had reached the wise realization that life rushes by and that happiness does not come from worldly things. It comes from focusing on God, trusting His plan, and accepting His will.

Eccl-12Life taunts youth with temporary diversions that have no long-term meaning. In the end, they are all irrelevant.

Maybe you are still in that youthful place of learning. If so, you can’t possibly understand how wise you will become by the time your children think of you as a doddering old fool. Take a few minutes today to read Ecclesiastes. Then keep Solomon’s words in your heart. Focus on God, your Teacher. Follow Him and trust Him. You are on an amazing journey toward wisdom. Life rushes by, and you will reach your destination sooner than you think.

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Filed under Knowing God, Peace, Random Ramblings, Trust, Uncategorized, Wisdom

Struggling With Omniscience?

[This is a “post rerun” from 2010. Occasionally, I like to rerun some of my earlier posts for my newer readers.]

Omnicience1As a Christian, I struggle sometimes wanting to know the “hows” of big God mysteries like omniscience and omnipresence. The other night while praying I caught myself thinking: If God is all knowing, then why am I telling Him what Hilma needs, or Jim, Joel, Charla, Diana, Susan . . . I pondered the idea of God’s universal knowledge. I believe by faith that He knows everything, but I wonder HOW does He know everything?

God led me to think of a crowded classroom. A teacher stands in front of the classroom. She points to a boy in the back of the room. “Ethan,” she says. “Do you know the answer?” As she stands there at the head of the class the teacher knows all of her students by name. At that very moment she knows all of their personalities and where they stand academically. She knows their educational needs and goals. It’s like that with God, I thought. Only bigger and better! We are students in His perpetual classroom.

At any given moment, God the Teacher stands before us at the head of the class. He knows each of us by name. He knows where we are in our training and what we need to reach our goals. God knows everything. There isn’t a question that He can’t answer. Yet sometimes instead of providing the answer He makes us work for it, knowing that in the process we learn to become more Christ-like.

all-knowingSo, if God is all knowing, why do we have to pray for our needs and the needs of others? The answer is because through praying, we connect with the Teacher. It’s like staying after class to tell Mrs. Stapinski that you can’t figure out a math problem. Mrs. Stapinski already knows that math isn’t your best subject, and she knows how to help you. But to receive her help, you might have to ask for it.

1 John 3:20 says: “For God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything.” Too often, I let logic lead my thinking, and I search for facts to add to my faith. My Teacher knows that, too. When I questioned the hows of His omniscience, He knew that I couldn’t possibly understand the big picture. It’s far too complicated for a human. So, He used a simple object lesson that I could understand.

Is God really omniscient? Yes. By faith I believe that He is.

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Filed under Faith, Omniscience