Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 2014: Proverbs 2 by Doug

The Groundhog has spoken, and there will be…the same amount of winter there would have been without consulting a furry critter that cannot speak. Let’s be reasonable, folks. Squirrels know the whether. Groundhogs do not.

Remarkably, even in the modern era, we put a lot of stock in the prognostications of superstition. We want to know if the groundhog sees his shadow. There are predictions of how the Superbowl will impact everything from pregnancy rates to Presidential elections. In all of this, we ignore Solomon who charges us to acquire a preference for wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 2:2).

What does this mean for us? There are really a couple of ways for us to live life. One is to fly by the seat of our pants and hope it all turns out. The other is to put some effort into understanding how life works and what is going on around us.

Solomon clearly has a preference for the latter. Life that happens to those who remain ignorant, willfully, does not go well in the long run. It is true, however, that a taste for wisdom and knowledge must be acquired.

It is not a natural or an easy taste to acquire. The smooth path runs through the ruts of ignorance or tradition, rather than re-examining knowledge and pursuing more understanding. This, though, is not the wise path.

Why not?

Because there is no limit to the knowledge of God, first of all. When we think we know everything to know about our Creator and Redeemer, we should realize two things: 1. We don’t know what to do about what we know; 2. We still don’t know everything.

Because there is no limit to the knowledge of reality, secondly. We are constantly exploring and understanding. One of the fun things about watching Twitter and social media feeds is the constant stream of new science, new discoveries that one sees. And there are many that contradict or convolute existing ideas. This is more fun than it sounds, especially when you don’t make a living writing science books that turn out to be wrong.

Because there is no limit to the knowledge of people, finally. We are constantly shifting in our relationships, even when the people involved remain static. There is more learn as the years go by, as the dynamics shift.

To accomplish this, to do this well, with an excellence that reflects our worship of God, we must grow in understanding. We must cultivate a desire to learn and grow. This should be evident among us, and within our hearts. That we will not sit still and fall backwards.

This is part of our call as God’s people: to incline toward wisdom and understanding, to not rest on what we have known but to keep pushing forward.

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