Unruly, Holy Curiosity
I once read a parable about two rabbis who spent years arguing with one another over the meaning of a particular passage in the Torah. They grew old together in their argument as their disagreement went on for decades.
At last, God decided enough was enough and appeared to the two old men when they were in the middle of one of their debates.
"I'm tired of listening to you two argue," God told them. "I'm going to tell you the meaning of the Torah passage, and maybe it will shut you both up at last."
Both men looked at one another and then one of them burst out to God, "How dare you! We don't want you to tell us what this means, we've only started to figure it out ourselves, and we are doing just fine, thank you!"
I've always loved that parable. It speaks to me on so many levels.
On the one hand, it reveals just how stubborn we are as human beings, and so over-confident in our own abilities to figure out the mind of God.
But there's another way this parable speaks. It also speaks to the beauty of the struggle and the lengths to which our own curiosity keeps urging us forward as we gain snippets of knowledge, glimpses of God's glory.
I read this wonderful quote this week by British author Ian Leslie:
Curiosity is unruly. It doesn't like rules, or, at least, it assumes that all rules are provisional, subject to the laceration of a smart question nobody has yet thought to ask. It disdains the approved pathways, preferring diversions, unplanned excursions, impulsive left turns. In short, curiosity is deviant.My prayer for you today is that your unruly curiosity would lead you to sacred moments of revelation and wonder. I pray that you will never stop seeking knowledge and glimpses of God's glory in the world around you.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.