As I was chatting with a couple baby boomer friends the other day it occurred to me that the older I get, the less I have to say. So much I thought I knew when I was younger and viewing “truth” through a religious lens has turned out to be oh so wrong. And the longer I live in Father’s love and grace, the less I need to know. If the origin of any knowledge is other than love, it’s not worth contemplating or talking about. At best, it would be putting the cart before the horse.
A good thing about getting older in his love is that you become more teachable; more child-like. No, I’m not old enough to be getting senile. It’s just that I’ve had to unlearn so much, that now life always involves anticipation of new things. So every time another shade of his love is revealed, I’m caught by surprise and awe struck like a child encountering a new discovery in an ever expanding world.
But part of this aging process is scary. It forces one to wake up to the reality that is made evident by love. Focusing on theology and other means of “Christian education” keeps us shielded from the truth that may lead us where we’re afraid to go. As Kierkegaard put it:
“We pretend to be unable to understand (the Bible) because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How will I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place in Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close.”
Yet love displaces fear and moves us to act apart from mere obligation. A sense of obligation may motive us to act, yet leave our heart cold and judgmental of others. The New Testament lays out lifestyle altering choices that open up a whole new world to those moved with compassion.
For much of my life I was taught by the knowledge of right and wrong, good and bad, expected and rejected. It’s like finally coming home to be taught by love, the teacher that never fails.