Can't See Around Those Corners

Omniscient. It is a commonly used theological term to describe a non-transferable characteristic of deity. Omniscient means "all-knowing." Well, who else can know everything except God?! Most sane human beings know that they don't know everything. Even unbelievers believe that much. Now, they may not believe in God, but they believe this: if anyone knew everything, that One would have to be God.

We agree to this truth intellectually. But practically? Yesterday, I was sitting around a card table for Christmas dinner chatting with one of Evelyn's aunts. Both of us are church workers. I am in Allegheny East Conference. She is a teacher and former educational administrator for the South Central Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. I asked her who she thought were some possible successors of Elder Joseph W. McCoy who will be stepping down from the presidency in February 2005. She mentioned the names of Dana Edmond -- who she noted is a person who really does his work -- and Randy Stafford.

You know how conversations go. They are not linear. But eventually the conversation came from talking about possible replacements to what they need and why some people would be good and others not so good. I talked about how we need to reinspire confidence in our leadership in the eyes of the laypeople with the emergence of scandals in South Central and Lake Region, etc.

Let's say that greed is my issue. Well, then I would not need to be placed in a position of leadership where my greed can hurt the organization I lead. But what's even more significant is that when I know that greed is my issue, I'll take a position that may cause me to hurt myself and my organization.

But we do! We take the risks! We know that we have our issues. We get into situations and begin to fail. And instead of pulling back completely, we plunge ahead. But Evelyn's aunt said something that was simple, yet profound: we can't see around those corners! If we could see around the corners, we would live the lives of integrity that we know we ought because the shortcuts NEVER end up producing the desired result.

God can see around the corners. If we'll completely put our trust in Him, we will be safe and we will live prosperous lives.


Grant said…
Stumbled upon your blog. Enjoy your thoughts. One question for "water cooler" discussion for you - what if God CHOOSES not to see around those same corners that we can't see? What if His omniscience is "knowing all that is knowable" instead of "all-knowing?" What if part of the image of God we are created in having true freedom? Just asking.

From a fellow or
Stu, thanks for your comments on my blog. I do believe that having the freedom to choose is a part of our being created in the image of the Divine. You may have only been raising it as a philosophical question or it may truly be your belief.

My belief that He really is "all-knowing" has to do with my belief that there really is a Divine design behind this world. It's just too complex. There was an article on entitled "Scientists: Quake may have made Earth wobble." Its conclusion was "even for a very large event, the effect is very small . . . it's very difficult to change the rotation rate substantially."

It's those kinds of things that make me believe there was an "all-knowing" Mind at the beginning of this. For example, architects design structures in anticipation of possible catastrophes. Sometimes they are successful and the structures they design withstand great stresses. Of course, sometimes they aren't. But they had a possible catastrophe in mind when they designed it. How does our world continue as it has unless there was a Mind that anticipated the possible catastrophes?

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