About 3 years ago, I stumbled upon this really neat YouTube channel called "Smarter Every Day". The creator, Destin, is an engineer who posts videos about various topics and explains the science behind things you have always wondered about. In the first video I saw, he made a bicycle with a gear so that when the handlebar moved right, it turned the wheel of the bike left. In the video, he showed how difficult it was to re-train his brain because the neural pathways had been developed over years where this simple adjustment to the mechanical function of the bike caused significant problems in being able to ride it. It took him months to be able to ride the bike. Then he had his son try it, and he learned significantly quicker because his brain was more elastic and those pathways were not as developed. Amazing.
The thing I love about this show is the way Destin is inquisitive about the world around him and how he shows his process for solving these problems. Maybe it's the inner kid in me, but this fascinates me. I love trying to figure things out and working outside of the box so it's fun to hypothesize what the answers are as I watch.
If you are like me, you always dreamed about being a fighter pilot. There is something mesmerizing about the idea of flying a high performance jet at supersonic speeds and the skill and confidence necessary to do that effectively. In the latest episode I watched, Destin flies a jet and discovers some interesting things. You should check it out.
The biggest takeaway from watching this show has been the amazing ability God has given us to figure out things about the world around us. The fact that God gave us these amazing brains that have so much capability should tell us something. We weren't created to simply look around and behold beauty and wonder. We were created to discover and pursue the creator of all this beauty and wonder. God gave us brains with the ability to think and reason because he never intended for us to be intellectually lazy. We weren't created to have mental atrophy. We were created to use our brains, solve complex problems, come up with innovative solutions, and reason. The reason for this is simply. We were designed in his image. A God of limitless creativity created us to be creative. He created this world as a window through which we would see him.
We just finished up a Sunday School class on studying the Bible. One of the key points throughout the class is that we need to engage our brains when reading the Bible. We need to read expositorally. What I mean by that is we let the meaning of the text drive our understanding and a big part of that is engaging our brains to plumb the depths of the truth of God's word. To reason through arguments and word meanings and how those words relate to other words. To think through what the Bible is saying grammatically and let the text determine the meaning, and then think and ponder on that meaning.
The point I am making is simple. There is beauty and wonder everywhere, especially in God's word. If we cannot understand the natural world around us without wondering, asking questions, testing and letting the evidence inform our thinking, why would we approach God's word any differently? If we were meant to behold beauty and wonder in the world all around us and that beauty and wonder are meant to point us to our creator, why would we not seek to see the beauty and wonder of God's revealed word and have it point us to the God who spoke it?
My oldest daughter turns three today. One of the things I have noticed about a three year old is the endlessly inquisitive nature of the world around them. "Why" and "how" are some of the most common place words in our house these days. It has made me realize how easy it is to not ask questions. To lose that inquisitive aspect that God created us with. Perhaps if we approached the Bible more like a child, we would be struck by truth and wonder that blows our minds and causes us to love and adore the majesty, glory and wisdom of our Creator more and more. Maybe, we just need to recover child-like curiosity when we approach Scripture as a gateway to treasuring and trusting the God who created us. What might happen if you tested that hypothesis and approached the word with a renewed curiosity about the God it reveals?
Jon is husband to Carlee, Papa to Finleigh and Ainsley, a pastor at Arbor Drive Community Church in York, Ne, and co-host of The Pastor Discussions Podcast