“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is so high that I cannot attain it”, exclaimed the writer of Psalm 139, contemplating an all-knowing, ever present God.
Millennia later, those words are still full of meaning for us. But so much else has changed! Knowledge – or at least information – has expanded at a dizzying rate. We are left disorientated.
We – and others – can know so much about us. Our location and movements, our buying patterns and finances, our communication and relationships….
We can explore genealogy and the lives of our forebears. On Facebook we can know all kinds of trivial details about others. We can link up with friends and family who have been out of touch for decades. News assaults our eyes and ears. Horrors of war and disaster. Endless political shenanigans. Sordid details of relationships gone wrong. Graphic photos of just about anything. Too much information!
Institutions that once formed the scaffold of everyday life are tottering. What do we grab hold of to steady ourselves, our minds and our spirits?
To know is to be responsible, someone has said. But we know so much. How can we act on every need before us? We are paralysed.
“Be still and know that I am God”, says another songwriter in Psalm 46, emphasing that God is there amid uproar and chaos.
I’m not very good at prayer. But a key part of it is taking time to listen – allowing time for the dust around us to settle, for our minds to become clear and our spirits tuned to what really matters.
Paul, in Romans 12, told his readers, “be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God.”
Take time out – to listen, to hear.
David Reeve, Hobart North UC