Recently when writing a college reference for one of our young men soon to graduate from the Paul Anderson Youth Home and High School, I highlighted one of his traits which first came to light after he had been here for some time; a trait which I felt especially qualified him for college: intellectual curiosity. He was genuinely eager and excited to learn and to be taught. And, he loves theology: the study of God. Is there a greater mystery worthy of applying your passion in a forever-endeavor? We too often ignore or simply misinterpret the gospel as “mystery; that the Bible often speaks to us of the “mysteries of God; that it describes Christ’s dwelling IN us—a “mystery; that the Apostle Paul guided by the Spirit of God links the sacred oneness of husband and wife to the eternal marriage of Christ to His Bride, a Bride dressed and transformed by His own supreme sacrifice of love; this, Paul writes, is not simply a “mystery; it is a “profound mystery!
Solving mysteries demands a detective-like curiosity. That is why so many people love mystery novels. But by the last page they “know who dun it. The once mystery is mystery no longer. I think this is the same way in which many consciously or unconsciously interpret the “mystery of the gospel. Once you have heard the gospel preached, and you are acquainted, or so you think, with what the Bible says of the gospel and of God, the mystery is gone. You get it! It becomes “old hat. The “mystery is mystery no longer. In YOUR mind it is solved.
Well, this is NOT the meaning of “mystery as in the “mystery of God or the “mystery of the gospel! It is not even the meaning of “mystery in the mystery of husband and wife oneness. That is a lifetime study if there ever was one. We might see more clearly the mystery of being “ONE in marriage and the male and female psyche and God’s creative rationale for making man male and female as He did, once we get to heaven, but anyone who says he or she gets it now? You can be sure they are blowing smoke! On the other hand, the mystery of God can never be fully comprehended by us in all its manifold depths even in heaven, when we see not dimly, but face to face. Still every unfolding of the mystery in our mind and experience is a delight that can be matched nowhere else. It is the gift that never stops giving. Augustine rightly said centuries ago, “If you can comprehend it, it’s not God. We are finite creatures, and though we will live forever, we will never become God, nor plumb the depths of His immensity. But when you develop a mindset that you know everything there is to know, or as much as you think it is essential for you to know, curiosity to know Him dies, and so do you.
Passionate curiosity to know God is your lifeline to all that lies in your future; it is your purpose for being. As the Westminster Catechism begins, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever; this is exactly what you are doing when you exercise an indefatigable curiosity to never cease exploring the frontier of the wonder and glory of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; to know Him, and yet never come to the end of Him. Curiosity propels us to relentlessly pursue finding out many things in life, some of which we are better off not knowing; the sense in which “curiosity killed the cat is prophetically true for us. Our curiosity pursues such trivial things of this world, in light of eternity; like what did Charlie Sheen say or do this week. Or what is the latest gossip? Or how many hours can I spend on Facebook? Unlike such time consuming trivia that leads eventually to deep regrets about time ill-spent, curiosity about the mystery of God, compelling your heart and mind to search out every facet of His being, leads to one enjoyment after another with no end and no regret.
My wife and I once drove along the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Every numerous curve of this literal ribbon of highway clinging to the side of the cliff above the spectacular blue Mediterranean opened another vista which we repeatedly thought could not be surpassed; and yet it was, at the very next curve. As you purposefully stir and engage the curiosity of your heart and mind in pursuit of the mystery of God, it will reward you with one discovery after another, delving into the depths of who He is. In that unfolding process you will also discover yourself, a glorious being upon whom He has chosen to bestow glory. And, you will then realize you have finally come home!
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