I will pursue your commands,
for you expand my understanding. (Psalm 119:32 NLT)
Sometimes I think about what life was like when my grandparents built their first houses on the Canadian prairies. They had to be adventurous people. Breaking ground that has never been broken before is a daunting task. I think about both my grandmothers preparing meals for large families and threshing crews without modern appliances or even a grocery store nearby.
I wonder if they were suddenly transported to today, a hundred years in their futures, if they could comprehend cooking a quick dinner in the microwave from a recipe I searched for on my cell phone. I wonder if they would understand a fraction of the material my thirteen-year-old granddaughter learned in science today or the games my twelve-year-old grandson played on his computer this afternoon. Instead of my spinning wheel I could show them the shirt I bought this morning. It’s made from recycled plastic bottles.
Yet I wonder if we, ok I, went back a hundred years, if I could understand their willingness to go beyond the bounds of the familiar, and seek a better life for themselves and their children. Both my grandmothers remained faithful to God in challenging circumstances, both saw many changes in their lifetimes. Both had a vision for the future and a willingness to expand their horizons (which were literally much broader on the prairies.)
I wonder if God has much more for us to understand about him, and the world he created, and who he created us to be in that world. I wonder if we will not be able to understand without taking the risk of making changes.
There is a line spoken by the actor representing Jesus in the popular episodic series, The Chosen. It stood out to me when the smiling, kind Son of God said, “Get used to different.” It was a pay-attention moment.
Throughout history, the stress of change and upheaval has often been the way God has moved to expand our understanding. He’s doing it again. Get used to different. Your understanding may be his next expansion project.
Creative Meditations for Lent, Prompt Word: Expansion