Monday, September 14, 2009

Understanding God-quick thought on heavy topic

I've had a thought regarding a quick and simple way to understand one of the heaviest topics about God, that being his All Knowingness. I know that's hard for people to understand the way it ought to be understood, which is that God is more than just a complete walking encyclopedia. So I thought of an analogy that would really relate to you parents out there, and also to those of you who cared for younger brothers and sisters.

One of the things people don't understand about God is how he can be All Knowing, and yet interact with people moment by moment, day by day, and be active in world events, for example. People think that if God knows "how the movie ends" about everything in life, why and how does he interact with people, if at all. Well, it is really simple to understand on what level if you think of it this way.

When you are with your young child, or any young child that you care for, you will play with them, and let them "help" you, by speaking and interacting with them at their own level. Further, you help your child discover the world (and what they are going to do in it) just as if you didn't know the answer either.

For example, when toddlers are learning about the world, you will often take your toddler to something new, like a picture book, or a drawer in a cabinet, and make a big fuss about opening it for the first time, creating excitement in the child as you say things like "Oh, what is this! It's a booooook. Let's open the book!" And then you oooh and aaah along with the child as if you are experiencing the wonder of discovering the book right along with the child.

God is the ultimate expert, of course, in pacing himself along with humans, for their benefit, not his, although he has that parental pleasure, even though he "knows" in advance, of course, what is in the book he is showing you, how many times you will read books in your life, what you will think of them, how you will use the knowledge, etc.

So every time that you pray to God, or are in comfortable silence with him, God is responding to you in exactly in the "here and now," just as he would in the example I've given as a loving parent with a learning toddler.

For example, God does not minimize his spiritual interaction with you even if he knows that you are going to do this many bad things, or waste these many opportunities... or that there are "better" people he could "invest" his time (which is infinite anyway) with. Every second of time that God spends with you is truly "one on one" of the type of "loving parent paces himself with the toddler," no matter what the future, which God knows all of, holds.

Think of the wonder of how different God is from humans. If you, as a parent, knew in advance that your little toddler would grow up and deliver in the future terrible disappointments to you, any parent, being flawed and human, would emotionally invest "less" in that toddler. This is one reason, by the way, that false arts such as fortune telling is so strictly forbidden in the Bible. It closes rather than opens the heart to great spirituality and Christ like charity. It's human nature. If you knew that your bright eyed blond toddler would grow up to be a hard core and ungrateful thief, no human could resist modifying their behavior with that child, since the burden of that knowledge is too heavy for any human to be untouched by. But God is not like that at all.

God does not remove one iota of his constancy of availability and attention from any human, even though he knows every bitter thought and deed and disappointment that human will render in the future.

So that is how God is able to be All Knowing on the one hand, and yet interact (as you see in the Bible) with humans in a moment by moment way, just as if he is in the moment and does not already know "how it will all turn out."

Think about it. When God is walking in the Garden of Eden, and calls for Adam and Eve, knowing that they had already eaten the forbidden fruit, he calls them just as if he doesn't know. But God is interacting with them on the level that they can handle and is truly "in the moment" with them, even though he, of course "already knows" 1) what they had done 2) what will happen to them for the rest of their lives, 3) what will happen to every other human being for all of time 4) when he will send Jesus Christ 5) which people of which faiths will choose salvation and 6) when will be the End of Times. So God, like a parent, is able to have continual "in the moment" conversation and interaction with humans (for their benefit, not his) even as he at the same time knows everything there is to know and ever will be in the future to know (and God even knows, of course, all the what-ifs that never happen!)

Thus God is genuinely speaking to and interacting with Adam and Eve exactly in the moments, shaping with them, according to their exercise of their God given free will (and then his reaction to it) the present and thus the step by step moments of life into the future.

That is what should be marveled about, wondered about and loved about God, that he does know all there is to know, and at the same time, is genuinely in each moment with each person, and does not ever rob a person of any of his (God's) availability just because God already "knows" whether his attention is a "good investment" or "not." God is fully there and present for each person, whenever they reach out to him, and even when they do not (in his form of the Holy Spirit, which strives to reach even the hardest and most distant of hearts).

I hope that you have found this helpful! Loving hello and wave, as usual, to the young people who follow my blogging :-)