I had a dream the other night and upon awakening I pondered what I dreamed as a real life concept. The concept was a more advanced reality in which through technological harnessing we could record, store and search the entire gamut of our experiences. In this world your older self could go back and hear some of your conversations in your first year of university, or when involved in heated arguments, or when discussing vocation options with your career adviser at school. Further, you could use your future wisdom to assess where you went wrong on dates with prospective beloveds, where you lost out to that other candidate in that important job interview, and how you could have had better relationships with your family and friends.
But particularly relevant with this topic, you'd get to review all your beliefs and views at every point in your life - political, religious, moral, metaphysical, philosophical - and give a wiser and more experienced analysis of them, sticking with what you still felt to be sound, and revising what needs amending or developing further.
We can gaze in the opposite direction too – by looking forwards. It's perhaps equally probable that if you continue to invest in knowledge, evidence-based rationality, creativity, emotional development, and a myriad of useful mental pursuits, your future self will have much wisdom and elucidation from which your current self would benefit immensely.
This is a little bit like the situation between ourselves and God. He 'is' the omniscient mind that knows where we went wrong on dates with prospective beloveds, why we lost out to that other candidate in the important job interview, how we could have had better relationships with our family and friends, and where our political, religious, moral, metaphysical, philosophical needed improving. He knows the wisdom and elucidation that our future selves would pass on to our current selves - but He knows all these things in a timeless, infinitely grander sense than we can ever know.
A few years ago I wrote this about human morality:
Perhaps a good piece of wisdom regarding morality and how we live our lives is this: strive to avoid doing anything that you wouldn't want revealed to those with whom you want to create the best impression. I have always found this to be a pretty good metric applicable to all sorts of areas of life; write an essay as though your most intellectual mentor is going to scrutinise it for a critical response; have the manners and courtesy of someone who is meeting their prospective parents-in-law for the first time; treat people with whom you are most familiar with the grace and enthusiasm you would treat a newly-introduced companion at a dinner party; thirst for knowledge in the way you would if you were trying to obtain expertise; and seek wisdom, love grace, kindness and generosity as though God Himself is tangibly walking the journey with you.
If we apply the above mode of thinking to our walk with God, we can find wisdom in working through our journey. In Christ we have a God who hungers for a personal relationship with each of us, and who actively seeks us out to confer blessings on us. I think God is too often thought of only in terms of us coming to Him and searching Him out as we await His response (and don’t get me wrong, that is
a key part of our relationship, as The Parable of the Persistent Widow shows us in Luke 18) - and too seldom thought of as a God who is always actively pursuing greater closeness with us.
What we've seen from the above considerations is that in being an active pursuer of us, God wants us to reciprocate that desire for closeness by living out every moment of our lives with Christ at the centre. And what an amazing thing to have; He is the omni-wise, omni-knowledgable, omni-benevolent and omni-loving presence that can help us through all of those important aspects of life; love, faith, grace, relationships, knowledge, intellect, creativity, vocation and morality.
Photo: Angel by peasap on Flickr
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James Knight is a long term contributor to the Network Norwich & Norfolk website and a local government officer based in Norwich.
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