Friday, January 23, 2009

Know-It-All Phil

In a Facebook exchange last night, I was called a newshound and I mentioned that I just liked to be informed, but as I was going through my night time process, I started to think about that.

I do like to be well-informed and I read a lot of different news sites through the course of the day, FoxNews, MSNBC, CNN, and even sometimes WorldNetDaily and the Nation. I like to know what people are thinking and why they are thinking it. I don't know how this started but I always liked being the smartest/best-informed guy in the room. I was reading at a fairly early age and people were always coming to me with questions about what was in the book or what an answer was and that was how I derived a lot of my identity. This was even true in Sunday school, as I was always one of the first to get to a particular book of the Bible, or knowing that Jael was the woman that put the tent stake through Sisera's head in Judges (I didn't remember that one today, thanks Google).

This continued into high school, but to a lesser extent as I was going to an academic magnet school and was no longer the smartest guy in the room. In fact, at my high school, I was the lower third of my class and so started compensating by remembering minutiae of pop culture: people in movies, directors, years of release, song lyrics, movie lines, TV Shows, how to pull of the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, etc etc (all bits of knowledge useful for Scene It: Box Office Smash).

And it's continued today. I like it when people ask me questions and I know the answer to it. It's a good feeling to be able to explain things that can help people out and it puffs up my ego some as well.

"So, Phil," you might ask, "what's the purpose of this besides a little self-ego stroking on your blog for all of us to see?"

Well, here's the answer. I like some level of certainty in life. I like knowing things. Which makes God extremely frustrating. For most of my life, I've been a part of a movement that exults in having what amounts to complete, rational knowledge of God. The Bible is God's Word and His complete revelation and anything outside of that is not of God. But one of the things that we see as we read Scripture is that God doesn't usually stay in the boxes that we like. He brings in Gentiles when people don't think they should be involved. Uses women as judges and queens to save people. Uses a heathen Samaritan as the hero of a story about love.

I wonder if while God was wants His children to know Him, He doesn't want us to know EVERYTHING about Him. That we have to wonder things about God. Why certain things happen, why He chooses to act in certain ways. Things we have to take on faith. And faith flies in the face of the rational explanation and understanding.

And it requires a know-it-all like me to say that there are things that I'm not going to understand or have the answers for, and I have to continue to learn to be ok with that.


Adam said...

dude. This was a really good post. I really identify with what you are saying here, and it was very helpful to me today. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I find that the more I know about God, the less I know about God.

Murray Sanderson said...

Dana is right! And I like having a know it all friend, takes the pressure off me! :)

Elysa Henegar said...

This is one of my favorite things about God. You know, when it come to passionate love, the mystery is what keeps it interesting.:)

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