Not Knowing

I don’t like not knowing things. If I have a problem I don’t know the answer to, I Google it. This worked very well when I discovered that banana peel would work to rid my younger son of warts when nothing the doctors did was at all effective. Lately, though, I’ve found myself doing bizarre things like Googling “why the voices my child hears are always mean.”

Trust me, Google does not have the answers to these sort of questions.

I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m searching under the bed, looking inside cabinets, dumping out my purse — searching for my joy. I am a person who finds a measure of security in having information, and there are some situations that no amount of human knowledge can touch. This bothers me. Becoming a snowflake is difficult.

There are so many things we just don’t know. This verse comes to mind:

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. John 21:25

uncertainty god universeWe are like the blind men arguing about the elephant. Remember? One guy is holding the elephant’s tail, and swears up and down that the elephant is a skinny, sorta hairy creature — somewhat like a rope. Another has a hold of one of the elephant’s legs, and vehemently disagrees. The elephant, he says, is like a tree trunk. And so on.

I think we have less knowledge of God and how the universe works than these deluded guys did of the elephant. But most people tend to think like me. They like to have the facts so they can feel secure. So they grab onto what they think they know and defend it relentlessly, refusing to consider what other information — mysteries — might exist.

When I took my younger son to the psychiatrist, the good doctor asked to speak to me alone. Once the door was closed, he scooted his chair closer to mine, fixed his eyes fiercely on mine and said, “Now do you believe me? This is real. He needs to take the medicine.”

But what he thinks is real and what I think are real are two different things. The truth, though, likely lies somewhere in the middle.

I intend to keep searching for it.

4 thoughts on “Not Knowing

  1. I know what you mean. I look for help about dealing with grief and nothing seems to fit me or work. I think I just have to do what’s best for my own personality and situation. Forge ahead with no real idea what I’m doing!

    • Oh yes. Exactly. I’m thinking that’s where real growth comes from — when no one has done the work for us…

  2. As a computer programmer, I google for things to aid in my problem solving a lot. Sometimes I cannot find a solution to a problem. It’s either because few people have done it, or those that have done it aren’t all that interested in talking about it, like the problem is too specific to their own project that other people probably won’t encounter that scenario.

    The other thing is, sometimes the information out there is plain wrong. What’s worse is that people will copy and paste that stuff and they spread the wrong information. For us, when in doubt, we use what people said as a starting point, and we go back to the official documentation released by the original company to see if it’s indeed true. Or we have some trial and error. In your case, your official documentation will probably be the Bible.

    But it’s true that in engineering, we are working with man-made systems and a lot of things have an obvious definitive answer as long as you find away to experiment and measure things. Other aspects of life? Not always the case.

    • The Bible is definitely my documentation, but I believe that the original manufacturer continues to release, not updates, but continued revelation. I’m particularly interested in the experiences of other people who have traveled down similar paths, for example.

      I know this problem isn’t all that specific — many people are struggling. What people aren’t doing much, however, is looking outside their own paradigm. They take the meds without questioning, without trying hard to find out what else is going on. But yeah, some things are not measurable, and all you can do is try to make sense of the data you are given. I keep asking God for wisdom.

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