Falling In Love With Mystery
Wisdom and Knowledge aren't really the same thing, but when it comes to the Divine, we need both.
We’ve become very good at knowing about God. Over thousands of years, people have read and written about God, analyzed God’s motivations and tried to unearth God’s plan. But there is a large gap between knowing about God and knowing God. We usually call this gap “the mystery.”
The mystery is resistant to analysis. Like good mysteries of any kind, you can experience them, know them and stand in awe, but attempts at analysis don’t seem to illicit much more in the way of understanding. When the writers of the Bible tell us to seek knowledge and wisdom, they really do mean two distinct, though interrelated, things. There are numerous examples of things that we enjoy without particularly understanding their inner workings. One example would be enjoying and deriving benefit from your computer, without knowing much about hardware and software.
This is not to say that knowing about God is a bad thing. Imagine that you have fallen in love with someone. They are beautiful or handsome, and you connect right away. But at first, you don’t really know very much about them. As the years go by, you discover many facts and details that help you move closer and develop a rich relationship, but hopefully that initial mystery never quite disappears; love that is very real but not easily quantified. Our relationship with God works in the exact same way. Our initial “falling in love” with God, sometimes referred to as “justification”, is our ticket into a relationship with the Divine. If that relationship immediately came to end because of death, it would be sufficient for a continuation of that relationship on the other side. However, should we be granted time in this life beyond the point of justification, in order to form a richer relationship with God, we seek more knowledge about and wisdom of God. This is often called “sanctification”: the lifelong growth in faith, love and grace that exemplifies the life God wants us to lead. This sanctification not only leads to a more meaningful life, it also places us in harmony with God and God’s plans for humanity.
In the beginning, God created the material world and physical “stuff,” including humanity in a physical sense. Through the Great Flood and several covenants, God molded the ethical and moral structures that help us stay on a path towards God. Through Christ and the New Covenant, the locus of God moves from the temple and its legalistic structures to the heart and soul within each of us. The New Covenant is actually a weaving together of God’s creations. Now, instead of simply admiring God, we are called into an active, interactive, relationship with the Divine. We live in a state of sanctification – learning, growing and relationship building – with God. Accompanying this knowledge is the sense of falling even deeper in love – deeper into this un-analyzable state – until we finally arrive at the new heaven and the new earth. It’s a place where all of God’s creations are woven together into the perfect fabric God envisioned, and brought to life, on the first day. And it was good, it is good, and it will be good.