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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Reason

Several years ago, I had the privilege of going on my first and, to this point, only cruise for mine and Sarah's tenth anniversary. I remember our second night out on the sea. Sarah was getting ready for bed and I walked out onto our little balcony. If you've ever had this experience, you know what I am about to describe.

In the middle of the ocean, there is nothing...and everything. I remember looking up and seeing thousands of stars that I had never had the privilege of "knowing" before. City lights, even in some rural areas, do much to keep us from seeing the galaxy that surrounds us. I remember looking down at the ocean and its vast darkness. As far as my eye could see in any direction there was nothing--no lights, no other boats, no land and...no limits.

I remember thinking how little I felt. I suddenly became very afraid thinking if I fall off this boat out here they may never find me again. So I stepped back from the rail and continued to take it all in. It was a vivid reminder that I am just a man. There are limits to my reason, boundaries to my understanding.

Here's why that is important. For some of us, that's a reason for fear. We are scared of what we don't know. We fight to know everything and when we don't find the answers, we begin to explain it away with phrases like "it can't be known" or "it's obviously not real." For others, though, there is comfort in not knowing. I am one of those. I believe my limited knowledge is proof that there is something, Someone, who is much bigger than me. There has to be. I get great comfort from knowing that I don't have to have all the answers. Indeed, if I did, I'd have no need for a God because I would be Him.

Philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote that the most rational person is the one who recognizes there are limits to his reason. I understand his thinking. All those blank areas on my mental canvas, the places that I can go to and go to without ever finding answers, they are the fields where my seeds of faith are planted.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:3-5 NIV

1 comment:

hold_fast061706 said...

WOW... that is REALLY good stuff.