Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Of When I Discovered "Discovery"

When I was less than 4 years old I discovered "discovery". It happened like this.

I had just become aware that you could tell when someone was looking at you by their eyes. I recognized this. And so I decided to test the theory by checking for myself in the mirror. You've probably seen toddlers do the same. I stood in front of my mother's dresser and stared into the mirror, turning my head this way and that way and always noting that the eyes remained looking at me, no matter which way I turned my head.

You may think that is pretty babyish in terms of discovery. But it wasn't that I was so fascinated by the discovery itself (although I was). No, it was that I was fascinated that there was such a thing as "discovery" even though I did not yet know the word itself. I had discovered "discovery". And I discovered that I could test the new knowledge by "checking it out". Now that's a pretty interesting concept for a 4-year-old. For if one thing can be discovered then surely there must be more that can be discovered. I understood that.

I still like to check things out. In many ways I'm a skeptic...until I've checked the facts. When my Beloved emails me (all the way across the hallway from his office to mine) some "forwarded" email that purports to claim some odd event, my immediate response is to check with snopes.com or some other online source as to its validity. It has become a standing joke between the two of us. He KNOWS I will check it out before forwarding it one person further.

I'm also curious about things. I like mechanical things and I like to know what makes them work. And how to take them apart and put them back together again...not that I'm always good at that...when I was 10 years old I ruined a Timex Cinderella watch. It came apart easily enough. But, well, you know, it didn't go back together very well. So I never did become a watchmaker. But I did, for a number of my adult years, take apart, fix, and put back together old Singer sewing machines. It was great fun. (Okay, I realize my concept of great fun may be a bit askew of what you might consider fun. But to each his own.)

My curiosity and my need to know how things work has benefited me in the spiritual realm, too. When I read my Bible curiosity causes me to dig deep, take apart the sentence structure, check the cross-references, see how it all fits together. It fascinates me when I discover something new or when I connect the dots between one scripture and another.

For instance. As a child I had read the story of Jacob's dream. Here's how Genesis 28:12 says it: "He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it."

Now, as a child I knew there was no "real" ladder of wood or stone between earth and heaven. I knew that the ladder in the dream was symbolic of something. But I did not understand the symbolism. Not, that is, until some years later when I read Jesus' words in John 1:51 where he said to Nathanael, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

It was a light bulb moment! Then I understood the ladder of Jacob's dream! Jesus Christ is the ladder. As God incarnate (God come to us in Humanity) He is the God-Man. He is the mediator between God and man. Without Christ there is no access. It is His work on our behalf that gives us access to heaven.

Jacob verifies his understanding that the vision is one of access to heaven in Genesis 28:17 after his dream when he says, "...this is the gate of heaven."

The night before Jesus was to die on the cross He comforted the disciples by telling them this: "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6.

Jesus is the gate. Jesus is the ladder. Jesus is the way. Jesus is Life.



Karen said...

I loved this post, especially now, during the beautiful Christmas season! Blessings to you! :)

Kelly said...

This is wonderful! I love those "aha" moments when studying scripture.

One of my favorite studies I ever did was one on the Tabernacle and how it all relates to Christ.

Linda said...

Thank you! Awesome--Praise the Lord for the ladder he has provided for each of us--when we ask him to be our Lord and our Savior!

Dorothy said...

That ladder of Christ is surely the most important discovery of all! Good post, Whitestone!