I believe I don’t know what this post is going to be about. I can tell you how it all started, and the track my train of thought rode upon – but, as I depart from the station on this morning’s journey, I don’t know where I’m – or it’s – going. And that’s wonderful!
Note: I believe the featured image of today’s journal entry is worth a look, but I don’t know how to rotate it in WordPress. Apologies.
If you, Dear Reader, are at all Savvy (as Captain Jack likes to say), you may be getting an inkling about today’s topic.
It all started when I woke up. (That’s a good figurative and literal first sentence!) But literally, I woke up to a text from my daughter, “How do I know I made the right decision?” Parents, is there a better time for a teaching moment? Ya, to show how little we really know, sure! Like someone once said, “There are known knowns…”
And then, the first verse I read today:
And this is eternal life:
That people can know you, the only true God, and that they can know Jesus Christ, the one you sent.
So, I began with the question, “Exactly what can we know, really, truly know, now? My first thoughts were song titles: The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow Somewhere Over The Rainbow and then we’ll party like it’s 1999. (There’s my Prince reference.)
What’s the difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘believing’? Google that, literally, and you’ll have hours of study available to you. Here’s the best thoughts I found:
Belief is intellectual, knowledge is experiential (Jung, paraphrased)
Believing vs knowing is like
virtual vs actual reality
copies vs originals
fiction vs fact
e-communication methods vs in-person, face-to-face (George Cappannelli)
Belief goes with doubt, it’s a choice, and is pre-experience.
Knowledge is post-experience. (for example, today we can believe or doubt that the Capitals may take the Stanley Cup; but we know the Celtics will not win the basketball championship.)
Belief is second-hand, ‘hearsay’; reading or hearing a piece of news. Knowing is first-hand, actually seeing it happen. (Valerie Mackenzie)
“An element of doubt should be put in between ‘believing’ and ‘knowing’, but doubt with shrewdness or intelligence. … useful information … turns into knowledge, and is then converted into a belief.”
Knowledge is informal experience; we know useful information and convert it into beliefs; from our beliefs we derive our values; beliefs are convictions we generally hold to be true, usually without actual proof or evidence. Values are concepts we deem important; ideas, or ideals.
“Knowing something reduces your fears.” (differencebetween.net)
“[I couldn’t] believe in something that I could not see or touch … [but] momentary experiences of grace … encouraged me to keep searching for a way to have a direcet and personal experience of God.” (Dr Margaret Paul)
Then, I read today’s Utmost.org entry. “Gracious Uncertainty”
1 John 3:2 …It has not yet been revealed what we shall be.
“Our natural inclination is to be so precise [dealing in knowns]… that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing… We think that we must reach some predetermined goal… But the nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty… To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow will bring (with breathless expectation). … We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God.
Matthew 18:3 …unless you … become as little children
“We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. [BUT] full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectation.”
Sometimes, other people have already said it best.
But what can we know? Well, what I know is the peace that passes all understanding. I don’t have the peace all the time, though. I do doubt – a lot – from time to time. But doubting doesn’t change what I know, because I’ve experienced that peace. And I surely do know what I am like without Him; when I’m in a period of not knowing Him; when I don’t believe.
“Only believe that I do all things out of love, and the eyes of your faith will see My provision een before it is visible on the horizon.” (Houge, Refreshed in Christ, Day 29)
Then, I googled “define semantics”: “the study of meaning in language, for example, ‘destination’ and ‘last stop’ technically mean the same thing but there are shades of differences. And this is where I’m getting off today.