Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Understanding & Knowing

It occurred to me today as I was writing to a friend that so many of the things we learn in our lives, we learn only over time. We grow, gradually, into trusting other people. We get used to a new job--slowly, one project, one person at a time. We change our lives, our families, our goals, and our perspectives by taking microscopic little steps, growing in a tiny way each day, every day, for years. Our intolerance melts subtly into acceptance. Our prejudices begin to take a back seat to our hope of finding that of God in another. Our fears, bit by bit, dissolve the unknown in favor of the known--what God has done before, he'll do again, and more.

So many of the unrealistic expectations I have put on myself and my own growth have had to do with time. I expect to know better, now. I want an answer, now. Like Paul, I know what I think I should be doing, but as Peace Pilgrim says, "It takes a while for the learning to catch up with the living."

But today I caught a glimpse of an understanding that reminded me that time is an ally, deepening our understanding and underscoring our knowing: Practical experience with God gives us an understanding and a knowing of his presence we can't get from a book, a song, or a movie. Lots of days with God give us the scope of experience, the knowing that he's there when we need him, a real help, companion, and guide we can count on, no matter what. :) k

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