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The Beginning of Understanding

Updated: Oct 23, 2018

Becoming a parent reminded me of something that we all know but tuck away in the back of our minds – we’re all woefully ignorant on a universal plane. Just when I thought I was “grown” and knew enough about the world to bring a child into it, I figured out just how little about it I really knew. I’m not talking about how to fix that clucking noise under the hood of your car or how to make a few pennies in the stock market – I’m talking about the basics like “What are we really supposed to be doing while we’re on this rock called Earth?” Or “What is life really about?”

A child takes you back to the simple questions and reminds you that you don’t have all the answers – that you are as much a student in the universe as your child is in the bassinet. The ironic thing is that I found myself learning as much about the world (or more) than my children because of them – they’ve taught me more than I’ve ever had to offer in return. From time to time on this blog, I’ll attempt to share those learnings, expressed in one of the ways that I communicated them to myself many years ago:

In The Womb of the Beginning

“In the beginning . . .”

is enough to assure me

that there are things I cannot even begin to comprehend

My mind convulses as I tirelessly try to convince my thoughts

to dwell on a “beginning”

Not the first day or first hour

but before even the first second,

that first speckle of existence that was required

before even the first moment of time

As I stretch my imagination back

past the brilliance of the galaxies

and the glories of what we call the heavens

Before creation of the dust

that huddled to form blazing stars

and magnificent planets

Back before “. . . and God said . . .”

I contemplate the very beginning –

I try to comprehend the moment just before the very beginning

and how there must have been something

just before that

and before . . .

My mind enters a flawed loop of reasoning

and doubting

and questioning . . .

and finally fails me,

crashing repeatedly on docks of hopeless understanding

in the absence of a logic anchor

I think how we are capable of flight into air and space

and cure diseases which we’ve never seen;

how we create those things that mimic and taunt true creation of life

but yet are still in the womb of understanding

Infants before god,

ignorant to the threads of existence,

Baffled by substance as plentiful and obvious

to our own existence as time itself

Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End

As faith wrestles down my intellect,

my mind has no choice but to rest in knowing

that time must be His creation

Time - a condition of our existence

to which He does not answer because

the servant does not command the Master

Nor does the canvas command the painter

As my son had no knowledge of the world into which he was born,

still have I the same understanding at my current age

“In the beginning . . .” keeps me grounded

when I contemplate the wonders of his words

When my wisdom and knowledge question the possibilities

and likelihood of his promises

When my wisdom-less thoughts convince me

that his words cannot be true

at least not in this day, not in this time,

I only have to contemplate “the beginning”

and remember how the thought of it eludes me

My rationale obviously has no merit;

all things, all His promises, again become possible

As I accept that I cannot comprehend

how anything I hold to be true came to be,

As I accept that I cannot convince my mind

to hold tight to a thought of an existence before time

I am faced with both a terrible but calming and wonderful truth

That in my current state

That in my limited understanding

That in all that I will become or understand

before my time expires

All I am or could ever hope to be

is an infant to my Father -

awakening, and barely . . . self-aware,

in the womb of His creations

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