A while back I posted a piece on the question, "If all that is permitted to you in this life is to truly know God, is that enough?" The question came out of watching the movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."I have struggled mightily with the question since.
I would like to say, of course, that knowing God is central in my life and there is nothing to compare with it. Of course my answer would be yes. But I had trouble saying it without feeling like I wasn't really being honest.
And yet, the longing of my heart is to truly know God and to serve him. What's the problem?
I think I know. After weeks of agonizing wrestling with this matter, I think I gained some resolution this morning while in deep spiritual reflection, sitting in a restaurant, munching on a bagel. If all that is permitted to me in this life is to know God, would it be enough? Yes.
If that's "all that is permitted," it would have to be enough, wouldn't it? If there were nothing else I could do, how could I say it was not enough?
But it doesn't appear that, at least for me, knowing him is all that's permitted. Or expected. And that's the problem. I believe that God created me for more, that he intended that out of my knowing him, other things should and would happen. And in that case, knowing him is not in itself enough.
God has invested a good deal in me. Every person who has ever lived can - and must - say the same. In my case, that involves some talents, a good deal of education, years of mentoring, and a lot more. And let's not forget the foundation of it all: Jesus.
So I have abilities and resources that I believe God wants me to use to his glory. And I want use them to make a difference in lives and, in some small way, the world, in a way that honors God.
To do that effectively, I need to function out of a conversational relationship with God. I can't do anything of consequence in my own strength. So knowing him is fundamentally important.
So, given all that, I have to say if all that were permitted me was to know God, yes, it would be enough. But here's the thing: That's not all that has been - or apparently is now - permitted me, and so I'm not satisfied with only knowing him.
There is still the matter of stewardship of what He has given me. There is still an appalling shortage of workers for the harvest. There is still a vast amount left to do. And I want to be a part of doing it.
And that's how I see it. Today, at least.