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Not There Yet

I live in Granada, Nicaragua. I have lived here for three years. At this point I am used to grey water flowing in the streets, packs of toothless dogs nosing through garbage, and laughing at the taxi driver who tries to overcharge me because I fit the description of a gullible tourist. I’m also used to buying three avocados for a dollar, rubbing shoulders with European backpackers, and having access to world-class surfing.

Today my host family told me their brother is coming to visit next month. He lives on a volcano in the middle of lake Granada. He is 53 years old and has not once in his life ever left the 106 square mile land mass.

This shocks me. It’s hard for me to think of what it would be like to have such a small view of the world. I also work with teenagers who have never traveled more than fifteen miles from their home. When I talk about airplanes and passports they act like I went to the moon. It’s the stuff of movies to them.

What if I am the same? I like to think that I have a bigger and better understanding of the world for the time I have lived in central America.  But honestly, if I was to be thrown into middle eastern dinner setting, or witness a New Zealand rugby team perform a haka, I would probably be completely lost.

The truth is, I don’t know very much. In life, it is easy to learn enough to impress other people and then just stay there. There will always be more to learn and it depends on your hunger and discipline to receive more.

Flip the script. My experience with God has been very similar. More than ten years ago, Jesus started calling me deeper in my relationship with him. I started hungering for him and wanting more for him. I started spending time with him. Nowadays if you read your bible and talk to God at least once a day many of your peers will start to praise you as mature in your faith. Many times in my relationship with God I have grown cold or stagnant because I thought I knew more than I did. I was comparing myself to the wrong people. My bar was set very low.

I love the way the living translation renders  1 Cor 8:2 “anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know  very much.” When I begin to read the writings of the great lovers of God from throughout the ages I am smacked in the face with the realization that I might actually be spiritually malnourished.  I am a scrawny kid who won one fight on the playground now stumbling into the gym and realizing I have a long way to go.

When it comes to God, I am small, ignorant, and bankrupt.

Now I don’t say these things as a way of beating myself over the head. I am just realizing that there is so much more to God’s character and ways that I have not even begun to discover. It’s exciting. Not that God was getting boring.

The good news is that all treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. The good news is that I have been given the mind of Christ. The good news is that in realizing I have such a long way to go, can actually wake up and start training.

You will always get as much of God as you are willing to receive. What will this year look like for you?