Knowing in a real way.
Things are not as they appear to be. They just aren't. Places and people, situations and circumstances, can never be taken at face value because they are always much more than they appear to be. There is more to everything and to everyone around me than you or I could possibly imagine. The challenge then, is to recognize that if this is true, then I must be willing to allow things to be more than I know. It actually means that I have to be Ok with not knowing, especially when every fiber of my being wants to have all the answers. It takes a serious dose of love and courage to do that because I have to set aside my ego with all its assumptions and judgements and personal experiences. It means treating others in a way that acknowledges the mystery that surrounds them. It means responding to situations and circumstances in an open-minded and open- handed way. It means admitting to myself and even to those around me that I just really don’t know as much as I pretend or presume to. At some point I may have more understanding or more revelation, but until that time I must endeavor to avoid behaving like I know things that in reality I really don’t. So it is with this Journey of a Lifetime. I am surrounded by people that I really don’t know, even some I've known for a long time, and yet the temptation to make judgments and assume that I know things that I don’t is very real. The problem is, when I assume that I know something that I really don't know, and pretend like it is the truth, I don't just walk in my own deception. I actually make the real truth that much harder for others to find.
Scripture to consider - 1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
As you walk this journey today, who are the people, friends, family, or co-workers who I have misjudged because of my presumption that I know them more than you really do?
How can you allow them to be different than what I’ve thought or imagined them to be?
How has my assumed truth about them reinforced the very things that bother me about them?
What are the situations or circumstances in my life that I have misjudged simply because I thought I knew what was true when in reality I didn’t?
How can I allow my perspective to be opened up in a new way and at a deeper level so that I am no longer satisfied with my own assumptions about the people and events in my life?
How will I invite God to guide me in this endeavor, to know and not know?
“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
― Plato, The Republic
“Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”
― Isaac Asimov
“We end up being unknown to those who have known us for too long.”
― Luigina Sgarro
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
― Winston Churchill
“The world you know is the world you know; the world you don’t know is the world you need to know!”
― Mehmet Murat Ildan
A simple prayer for knowing:
Father I desire to know you and to be known by you. In a similar fashion will you give me the grace to see people, events and circumstances as you see them, for what they really are, not just as they appear to be? Will you teach me to love them by leaving my opinions and assumptions about them outside the threshold of my heart? Will you enable me to allow everyone and everything around me to be much, much more than I imagine it to be?