Friday, May 11, 2018

the secret things

The Word for today:
Deuteronomy 31
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)
I don’t receive many text messages, so the other day I almost jumped when, out of the blue, my cell phone started buzzing and flashing and chirping and all the other things it does when it has a message for me.
All the sound and fury was startling enough, but even more startling was what the message said. It was from Shelley, of course (no one else knows my cell phone number) and it was a love note of the type you might have received in the 8th grade on a slip of paper while the teacher’s back was turned.
I do not receive many love notes these days (nor did I in the 8th grade, to tell the truth) so it was a very special moment. I even saved it on my phone so I’ll always have proof that someone besides God loves me.
Anyway, after my special moment came and went, I started thinking about the mechanics of such a sweet sentiment. (I know, it takes a real winner to reduce a love note to its mechanics.) I started thinking about how it got from Shelley at work (across town) all the way to me (across town from her).
I was thinking mechanically, but not technically, so I don’t really know the precise vocabulary for whatever it was that carried that message across town. Maybe it was a radio wave, or an electromagnetic impulse, or a light beam for all I know.
What I do know is that neither you nor I nor Copernicus nor Kepler nor Newton nor Einstein nor Marconi nor Alexander Graham Bell nor Steve Jobs nor all the geeks at NASA and MIT had anything to do with creating (or even inventing) whatever it was that carried that message across town.
We may have discovered radio waves, or infrared, or particle beams, but we had nothing to do with thinking them up or making them. God made the goldmine, so to speak, and we more or less stumbled into the shaft.
That led me to thinking about how miraculous all these things would seem to a person born 100 years ago. Which in turn led to thinking about what gold mines (so to speak) God has made that we haven’t discovered yet.
Which led me to thinking that maybe someday you and I will be able to zip all the way across town in the time it took Shelley’s little love message to zip its way to me. You might laugh, but 100 years ago it probably seemed less likely that a message would ever fly through the air on nothing than it seems (to us today) that we will ever get from here to there in the time it takes to think of where we’re going.
Such thoughts do not emanate from science fiction but from biblical fact:
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)
Q. What secret things?
A. We don’t know; if we did they wouldn’t be secret!
Q. How many of these secret things are there?
A. My guess is that an infinite God has thought up an infinite amount of things not yet revealed. My further hypothesis is that infinity isn’t long enough to unveil all of God’s secrets. It’s not that God is secretive; it’s just that forever is too short a time.
But let’s not strain our brains over such questions, because here’s another Bible fact:
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
We don’t even have imaginations that can enter into the things God has prepared, so rest your weary heads my little buckaroos.
We see through a glass darkly, with eyes and ears and imaginations that aren’t capable of perceiving things right in front of our faces—let alone the things God has made that are even farther out.
So for now, let’s just send him a message the way we know how. Let’s tell him we love him and let our words ride his sound waves all the way to wherever they will find him.
The message won’t take long to get there. According to the Bible (1), if we send it today, it will get there yesterday.
(1) see Isaiah 46:10

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