Every time I get on my computer, I’m bombarded with all those “Things I Wish I Had Known” articles. Sometimes I find myself nodding. Sometimes I laugh. I can’t help but wonder…What do I wish I had known? What could I have known?
The more and more life I do, the more I come to the conclusion that there’s really nothing worth knowing that you can know before you’re ready to know it.
The joy is in the discovering, not in the knowing. This is particularly true of parenting, isn’t it? There is purpose in all the end goals of raising up a child, but the joys are found in the myriad ways you get there. Sure, teaching your kid to read is important, but love flourishes in the hours spent on the couch, poring over picture books together. Table manners come in handy, but giggles over sloppily slurped pasta are the memories that will remain as the other recollections of etiquette fade.
So you can tell me that one of the things you wish you’d known was how your heart’s room would grow with each child you bring into your family, and I can file that away, but the joy in discovering my heart’s capacity can only come to me as I experience it. You can tell me that my kids will break my heart and challenge my patience on the daily, but that won’t do me much good until I find myself, at the end of a long day, leaning so heavily on prayer just to make it through bedtime, and realizing that even though I’m not enough, God will fill in all the gaps.
Isn’t the natural extension of this the joy in drawing closer to God? The joy in the journey? Sure, the goal is heaven, but we’ve been given this life for a reason- to live it, not simply to know the whys and hows. It’s the reason that we can read all spiritual tomes ever written and the entirety of the bible, but still not really understand any of it until we’ve had a personal encounter with the God who knit us together in our mother’s womb and in His heart. God doesn’t come to us in the knowing, but in the experience of living.
Often, I’m discouraged by all the things I don’t know. “God, just give me a sign! Tell me the right thing. I want to know your will!” But God doesn’t always call us to know his will. He calls us to stay close to him, act from that intimacy, and trust that he will make it work toward His glory. In this, He is the parent we all want to be- using the moments of discovery and grace to get us to the end goal. Which, really, is all I need to know.