Knowledge is kind of like money to most of us. In that, I mean, how much is enough? Just a little more. We research and study and contemplate and consider and research some more and ask questions and ask our friends and seek opinions and use different keywords in our searches and seek to discover just as much as we possibly can about whatever topic is of importance to us at any given time. This is especially true when that knowledge is supposed to lead us to a decision of some sort.
The trouble is that we do this same kind of thing with faith, with God - always researching and studying and seeking just a little more, just a little more, just a little more knowledge. Always wanting to know one more thing or one thing more certainly before we are willing to make a decision to act in faith.
The irony, of course, is that acting in faith means, to some degree, acting on limited knowledge - certain of what we are uncertain of. That's faith.
And while we've convinced ourselves that all of our researching, our seeking, our thirst for knowledge is the best thing we can do for ourselves, the truth is that at some point, we have to just decide how to live and get living.
Ecclesiastes tells us as much: you can read and study all of your days, but it is better just to live.
It's better to be out there gaining first-hand experience, seeing what it is that works and doesn't work in the world. Seeing where life takes you. Discovering new things, not more things. You can learn absolutely everything there is to know about something, but the truth is that there will be many more things you know little to nothing about. As soon as you move, you'll encounter something new and your reading and studying and seeking will start all over again.
It's paralyzing. Just as anything is when what we have of it is just short of enough.
We're not generous with our money when we think we have just barely enough of it. A little more, and we'd start to give - but we get a little more and realize we still need a little more, so we never start giving. We're not generous with our time when we feel our clock ticking away. A little more breathing room in the day, and we'd have time to help others - but we get a little breathing room and want a little more, so we never start helping.
We don't choose faith because we don't think we know enough about God. Just a little more revelation, and we'll get there, but it's like we looked at last week - God always has His mysteries. The more we know about Him, the more we realize we don't know about Him, so it's never enough. Learning more, studying more, reading more is never enough. We never embrace faith.
Yet when we choose simply to live, faith comes to us. We can't help it. We find, in the process of living, that we need a little faith and we find, in the process of living, that faith is enough. We could never read or study ourselves into believing, but put us in a place where faith is real - not where it is fact, but where it is real - and all of a sudden, it's an easy choice.
If you find yourself stuck somewhere, unsure of what to do next, not knowing which path to take or where to go or how to be, if you've exhausted yourself reading and studying and seeking and still aren't sure, take heed of this wisdom from Ecclesiastes and try just living. It will reveal to you things you never thought you could know.