Thursday, October 20, 2022

Still Growing

Yesterday, we thought about how everything we know right now is something that once upon a time, we didn't know at all. We came to know it through learning, through growth. Through doubt and asking questions and wondering about life, faith, God, and ourselves. 

Here's something else we should know about everything we know right now: these might not be things that we know in the future. These might not be things that we believe five years, ten years, twenty years from now. 

What we know is constantly changing as we continue to grow and to question and to encounter new things and have new experiences. 

That's one of the reasons it's so dangerous to be a writer. Or, in this day and age, anyone who puts a message down on any medium. It's because when we do so, that's out there. And years from now, anyone may bring it back and say, "But didn't you say....?" Sure, I did. But I've grown since then. I've had new experiences. I've asked new questions. And what I know today is a more full knowledge than what I had ten years ago. 

The same thing happens with our faith. At any given point, the only things we know about God are the things that we've experienced of Him. But we are humans who live finite lives, and that means that our circumstances have never given us the opportunity to know everything about God. We haven't had enough experiences to encounter everything that's true about Him. Every day, something pops up that shows us something in a new light, and we learn a new thing, and we understand more and better who God is just by living into learning about Him. 

If you've never been seriously ill, how could you know God as healer? If you've never been poor, how could you know God as provider? If you've never been curious, how could you know God as teacher? The lives we live give us our opportunities to learn the things that we know. And every tomorrow gives us a new opportunity to learn a new thing. 

So let's say your life has never given you the chance to learn a specific something about God, so you've gone your whole life to this point with a limited perspective, a limited understanding. Now, let's say that tomorrow, you learn that thing that you never knew and it changes the way that you think about - and relate to - God. 

Is that doubt? Is that deconstruction? Should the very foundations of your faith be shaken just because you've discovered that you don't know everything? 

Of course not. That's absurd. 

The first time you used an ATM, did you question everything you thought you knew about money? Probably not. Was your financial foundation shaken to its core? Probably not. You learned something new about how to access money, but it didn't make you throw off everything else you knew. 

The same is true when we learn something new about God. Learning something new doesn't necessarily mean that we used to be wrong and now, we're right. Sometimes, it just means that our perspective got a little bigger and we can see more things now. We have more experience. We've had more encounters. We've had a chance to learn something to add to the knowledge bank; it doesn't mean we have to use that as a cornerstone to build an entirely new building. 

The things you believe today are subject to change, and that's okay. Actually, it's better than okay; it's the way things were meant to be. We were made to keep growing, to keep changing, to keep experiencing new things, to keep encountering new things. 

To keep asking questions.  

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