Character Study

Natural

It’s only natural.

It is?

I hear a phrase like this one and consider all the unnatural things I do in a given day.

Is it natural to look at my phone as much as I do? Especially when sitting across from someone with an actual face who already likes me? Why do I seek affirmation in a thumbs up?

Is it natural that I check the animal shelter’s website daily? I already have two beautiful dogs. The two I miss are memories that can’t be found among the strays and the abandoned. Why do I keep thinking there could ever be another pair like them? How unfair to put that pressure on two young pups with their own stories to tell!

Is it natural to find solace in coffee drunk from a recyclable cup? Consumed and consumable in a mere five-minutes reprieve. Is it worth the five dollars?

Maybe that’s a bad example. Because it sure feels worth it.

But, worthy of being natural? Probably not.

So what is natural?

My grandparents touted being natural was what brought them success in their marriage.

But, I’m not sure.

I think their love bordered on supernatural. I think most love does. If I were to respond in a natural way to most people, it would be anything but loving.

I think in that case, I would want to be as unnatural as possible. I want to love in a supernatural way.

Why settle for being only natural?

 

These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Jude 19-21 NIV

Character Study

Knowledge

I don’t know from where knowledge comes sometimes.

For example, I don’t know from where algebraic equations flash into my mind at four o’clock in the afternoon when my youngest son needs help with his assignment. I just don’t know.

I don’t know from where poetry flows through a river of fluid phrases, yet I find them like tide pools of ecosystems waiting to be discovered and studied. I just don’t know.

I don’t know from where stamina resides to exert itself beyond the “not-this-again” moments I face each day. I just don’t know.

I don’t know from where love continues to bloom between two people who see one another as they were while the mirror tells it like it is, and both views can be just as true. I just don’t know.

I don’t know from where the years turn babies into men, and the heart, ignoring the change, still cradles them against their nightmares and lifts them toward their dreams. I just don’t know.

I don’t know from where all my life lines are drawn so that I might step too close or back away. I just don’t know.

I just don’t know from where knowledge comes sometimes. Maybe knowledge is knowing just enough to look for it. Maybe that is where it’s found.

The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,

    for the ears of the wise seek it out.

Proverbs 18:15 NIV