Wednesday, March 12, 2014

a heart filled with forever

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

This is one of the major observations of The Preacher in Ecclesiastes. It is Solomon's solemn realization that God does good work. And one of God's important creative designs is the very nature of the quest that we were made to pursue. It is "beautiful" because it is made by God.

We were designed to ask big questions because built into the heart of every human is this big eternal gap. In that canyon that only God can fill are the echoing existential questions of the soul. It is the seed that grows our worldview. It makes us aware of "something more". It is an aching source of longing to know... anything or everything. It drives us to "find out what God has done". In that "heart filled with eternity" is the desire and drive of all of humanity. It is exhibited in art, in science, in human achievement, in civilization and in contemplation.

But Solomon also notes that the same drive that compels us to understand, to ask big questions and to search for the truth of things is frustrated by human limitation. And that too is God's design. We want to know it all. We physically cannot do so. Hence the need for trust in the God we are driven to seek out.

I like to put Solomon's observation this way: My life was made to make sense with God. Anything else will engage the wonder of the search (which feels powerful) but not the pleasure of satisfying it with full answers (ultimately frustrating). I was made by God to know God. That observation puts it all into perspective, even if I am still looking to Him for more answers.

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