We humans are strange. We have a burning desire to understand our world and what is going on around us. Yet at times we seemingly don’t care to understand as long as things are going smoothly. If a thing works, why try to understand it? Most of us do not understand how electricity really works, yet it doesn’t stop us from flipping switches on everything from our house lights to stereos and TV’s and all the other electrical household appliances that we have. It works, and we are glad that it does. We don’t understand it, but that doesn’t keep us from using these items.
Generally speaking, we are driven to try and understand everything around us. There is a plethora of books written every day. If you want to know how to do something, you can always find a book that will tell you what needs to be done, or better yet look up exactly what you want to know on the internet. We are motivated to try and understand all things that interest us. If we perceive it to be something of great importance to us, we will do our best to come to some point of understanding. That works for our young people in school as well. All of our wonderful teachers in the elementary schools, middle schools and high schools are striving to find new ways to help our young people use real life applications. By doing so, they are able to show these real life relationships to math and science and the other courses that they are teaching their students. The students, in turn, are better motivated to study and learn algebra, biology and other course work, because they can better understand the necessity of doing so.
We all can learn to do things by the book. Most of us would rather have a little understanding as to why it should be done by the book. I remember one of my daughters coming to me with a deep question about life when she was around ten years old. I honestly don’t remember now, what the question was at the time. I do remember saying to her, “Well honey that is so complicated that if I could explain it to you, you wouldn’t be able to understand half of it.” Her immediate reply was, “Well Daddy, just explain the half to me that I would understand.” Out of the mouths of babes. ... The point is no matter what our age, who we are, or what we are doing, understanding makes it all go better for each one of us.
Marriages flounder and end in divorce because of a lack of understanding, generally on the part of both of the parties involved. Problems generally develop between the races, many times simply because there is a lack of understanding on both parts. Parent-child relationships, all suffer because of a lack of understanding. Understanding takes time to sit down and explore the perceived problems together and talking about them, or studying them as the case may be and then making the necessary adjustments on both sides.
Each one of us is definitely living in trying times right now with the corona virus. We all have questions. President Trump and the medical leaders are all trying to understand this virus and plan the best course of action for the country. Most of us are looking at it on a more personal basis. Am I going to be safe, will my children, family and friends be alright? New York City has been designated the epicenter in our great country for this virus because of the great number of illnesses there. We have all heard of the many people that are leaving that city for elsewhere. They are looking for a safer place for themselves and their families. For most, if not all of them, when they leave New York City, that is what they are thinking of, as would we all. But are they also considering that they may already be infected without symptoms and could be carrying the virus with them to the places they are running to for safety? No one knows.
The Bible says in, Psalms 139:23 “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” And Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
We must come to an understanding of our place in life. We must understand our children and help them to understand us. We have to have a larger understanding for our fellow man. We must, but we have to realize also that these things are not easy. Sometimes they may seem downright impossible. To understate our present reality, we are all living in trying times. We all have questions and many of the answers we come up with put fear into our hearts. We must realize that God has this. He was not taken by surprise with any of the things going on around us or in our country or world today. His hand is over it all and as He said above in Isaiah, “so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Trust God!
The things of life seem so complicated that many times we throw up our hands in surrender and give up trying. But in the paraphrased wise counsel of a ten year old, “We should look for the explanation to the half that we can understand.” In that half of an understanding, will come even more understanding. We must place our trust in God. Don’t give up!
Brad Morris, a retired minister, originally from Georgetown, served as a pastor and then as a missionary in Costa Rica and Ecuador, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He has been in ministry for 50 years and a columnist for 17 years, 13 of which have been for the Times.