Friday, March 25, 2011

Examples and Answers

It’s been said that when we are born we are blank slates. We learn from everything around us: the environment, culture, family, friends, food, language, everything. From the moment of birth we are being shaped by what is around us and what we experience. Of course there are also things that make us who we are that do not come from outside sources of the world, but for the most part, we look to others to gather how we should act, react, and think about things. For example, we learn so much from our parents. We even sometimes adopt their characteristics and quirky behaviors. Role models also provide us with something to aspire to, with something we can relate to, but also know we are lacking.

Today however, I realized that this can only go so far. Looking and learning from examples can only get me to a point. Examples are just that: they aren’t answers. Neither answers to my life or my situation.

So where to go where the example ends? I’m not content to just see what happens, to just pick a way and go. I know how limited and ignorant and frail I am. And even if I tried that, it would be hardly bearable with each uncertain decision made on a whim (even if I convinced myself I’ve thought it out). No, that won’t do.

Where the example ends is where God precisely picks up. To where my reasoning becomes tangled and shallow is where God will show me the way. He will whisper each next move and I’ll know that is my turn. We can’t rely on examples because we are all different. Each and every person has had a completely unique life. They each have a completely unique soul. Looking at examples are great to learn the human condition, but it can’t tell much about my future. But God knows my future and exactly what I’ll need.

So as I enter all new territory for me, I realize that I’ve been in uncharted lands all my life. God has directed me, given me examples, and also unique answers. As I move on to places (both physical and abstract) with fewer and fewer applicable examples, I won’t worry, because examples weren’t truly important to begin with. God is with me.

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