On knowledge, addendum
But what to do when we've found it?
It's a process, agreed, but it is possible to really know stuff. I mean, I know people who know stuff, so I know it's possible.
What then, ennui?
That would be the worst: the weariness that comes from having been there, learned that, can expound upon it from memory. I know the right answers; I have the right angle.
How do we keep from that tired sense of accomplishment?
Having not quite gotten anywhere close, I can't tell you. But I can talk about Christmas.
When I wrote this, I was approaching my 25th Christmas. Not a huge span of time, but O Come, O Come doesn't thrill like it did the first times I really listened to the lyrics. I've thought a lot on the significance of Christmas. I've read articles, essays, heard sermons-- not exhaustively, but enough that Christmas doesn't make my intellectual pulse race like it would if it were new.
So. Now what? Resign myself to a wonderless, forced smile, mental channel changing celebration?
Or be glad for the small things? That the cold, dark night is decorated by little lights? That people sing more at all? That the season with the least sunlight has festivities to break up the monotony? (Can you imagine a post-Christian, non-celebratory winter? ugh.) That children have something to get excited about? That someone can learn a lovely old tradition for the first time?
I furthermore suggest...
For those who really are knowledgeable:
1) teach- pass it on. Be a means of grace.
2) apply- live it... and live it well till the end of your 80. THAT's an accomplishment.
3) defend- fight for it. (eg: Athanasius contra mundum)
4) create- for the propogation, study, admiration of truth- make it beautiful, make it accessible (i'm reminded of a comment I read once saying that growing up, the hymnbook was their catechism. i'd say Michael Card and Dennis Jernigan were some of my early catechists. Lewis and GK and other masters of language my latter ones.)
5) be humble. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men. Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. God is not impressed with worship-less wisdom. ...the world did not know God through wisdom. It pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. All the knowledge we can gather does not make us more saveable- its purpose is to make us more glad, more wondrous that we are being saved!
6) be humbly grateful. What do you have that you have not been given? Misusing God's gifts is worse than never having received them. Knowledge- in a vacuum, as an end, not means- puffs up, but love edifies.
TEACH! Joyfully! Exuberantly! Seriously! Freely you have received; freely now give.
Knowledge is a great thing, but it's not the only thing, the main thing, either. It's a means. It's a means. It's a means.
...for right service (worship).
...for right faith/ thinking about God (worship).
It will not be based on our knowledge that God divides us- sheep and goats- at the end of the age, but on how we applied that knowledge. [Do I forget grace?]
Knowledge is a gift... but not a casual trinket. It is, better said, an investment. For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power.
The goal of every Christian, especially as regards the "little ones," is to be able to live (even if we couldn't conscientiously say it): "Be imitators of me, as I imitate Christ." And Christ did not stop with speaking wisdom- He was the wisdom of God- for us.
Yeah. That'll deflate your puffed-upness real quick. Be imitators of me...
...as I study and question (like Christ in the temple)
...as I rejoice and teach (like Christ schooling the disciples on boats, mountains, and country roads)
...as I wash dirty feet (like the Rabbi in a certain upper room.)