I am who I am. Exodus 3:14 (NLT)
Kind of Knowing – Prayer and Mystery Series – Part 1
Romanian-French Playwright Eugène Ionesco once said: “Over-explanation separates us from astonishment.”
It’s tempting to try and “nail God down” to a specific definition. Explain him, box him, package him up and turn him into a neat and tidy “product.” Trying to understand God in an intellectual and practical way isn’t a bad thing; it’s part of the process.
It’s in our nature to want to seek a mystery out to understand it fully, which would make it a mystery no longer. But here’s the thing: God is endlessly mysterious, we can never fully “know” him. Our humble forms of language will never be able to express all that he is and does.
Richard Rohr says it like this:
“We all need, forever, what Jesus described as ‘the beginner’s mind’ of a curious child. A beginner’s mind… is the best path for spiritual wisdom. Tobin Hart writes: ‘Instead of grasping for certainty, wisdom rides the question, lives the question…. When the quest for certainty and control is pushed to the background, the possibility of wonder returns. Wonder provides a gateway to wise insight.’
Incorporating negative and self-critical thinking is essential to true prophetic understanding. At the same time, we must also trust that we are held irrevocably in the mystery of God’s love, without fully understanding it.