08/11/2023 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
We come into this world a clean slate. Some behavioral scientists believe we have instincts like animals. How does a baby whale know to swim to the surface of the sea to breathe? How does a baby turtle know to head for the ocean immediately after hatching? How does a baby bird know, even though it’s blind at birth, to open its mouth when it feels the nest move? Instinct.
If you think about it, a human baby is the most helpless creature born. Some babies cry after birth while others remain quiet. Even though we have a language, a baby only knows sound and orients to it. Physical needs such as hunger drives babies to learn cause and effect. I cry, I get attention. I cry, I get fed. I cry, I get my diaper changed. It seems we begin adding to that clean slate moments after birth.
Do we stop learning? A question many people may ponder. By the age of ten, children develop critical thinking skills. What are these, you might ask? According to Hullfish and Smith in 1961 and others, “Critical thinking has been described as an ability to question; to acknowledge and test previously held assumptions; to recognize ambiguity; to examine, interpret, evaluate, reason, and reflect; to make informed judgments and decisions; and to clarify, articulate, and justify positions.” That’s a clinical definition. In Doug Walker’s definition, the child learns to ask, “Why? Why? Why?” As much as it can be annoying, this practice allows the child to ponder, ask, and eventually learn.
The Bible is a book that contains a lot of answers, yet it generates a lot of questions. Why did Jesus reveal Himself on the Mount Hermon? Why did Jesus speak in parables? Why did John describe the Holy Spirit as a dove coming from Heaven. Why was Jesus called the Lamb of God? All valid questions and the answers can be found by searching.
Spiritually we are a clean slate when we come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We don’t know anything in depth about God, other than we have sinned and we can’t erase it ourselves. From that point on, our spirit cries out, “Why? Why? Why?” We are driven by the urging of the Holy Spirit in us to learn more and more about our spiritual past, our spiritual presence and spiritual future (or at least I hope you do). The Bible is a place to get that free education.
Anyone can read the Bible and read history, law, prophecy, moral behavior, wisdom, and the like. The words are just that, words. But a child of God can read the same words and they come alive, as if God Himself were talking. Sometimes they are hard to understand, but don’t get discouraged. If you don’t understand something, dig more. Jesus said, “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.”
Get a free education today from the One who has all the answers in the universe!