I would love to have the satisfaction of knowing that I am right. There is a wonderful sound a golf ball makes when it falls in the hole after a long putt. Being right feels like that sound.
But sometimes I miss it. Sometimes I miss it so badly I’m not even on the right fairway. Sometimes I’m on the green in one and then…, putt, putt, putt, putt…
Some things in the Bible are crystal clear -like the fact that God loved us so much he gave his only son so that anyone who believes in him could be saved.
Other things are not so clear. My understanding requires constant correction.
Depending on where you are standing the reflections in a pond might appear differently to different people. The chapter that talks about love (placed in the middle of instructions on how to properly use the gifts/tools that the Father has given us to build each other up and encourage fellow travellers on this road) says that what we perceive this side of being face to face with perfection is like seeing a blurred reflection. It uses the word ainigma -a riddle or puzzle to be pursued.
It’s frustrating. I want that satisfaction of having clear instructions. I want to know I am right -frankly so I can “prove” to others that they are wrong -and maybe “fix” them by goading them with a cattle-prod of truth. How can I poke anyone (or bludgeon or whip or tear down) with blurry understanding of details?
For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood by God]. (1 Corinthians 13:12 Amplified)
One night, after a frustrated prayer asking for exact directions, I heard a still, almost silent voice, “If I showed you where I was going with this it would remove the element of faith.” (If you don’t believe that God talks to ordinary imperfect people sometimes, then you may just want to move along. This is not the blog for you.)
The point of asking riddles is to keep a person engaged. The Lord wants a closer relationship with us. When we have glimpses of another way in which he expresses himself we have the option of pursuing that fleeting flicker of colour or turning back to the world of black and white where everything appears to be more decently in order.
I wonder too, if this pursuit of the Holy in blurred reflections requires us to admit we don’t know everything and that very act of humility draws us closer to the One who does know everything. I wonder if it is in those teachable moments of meekness that we can hear his voice most clearly, that he whispers his secrets to us.
It’s His kindness that leads us to change how we think.