The innovative and unconstricted thinking of children often delights and surprises us. Although often the lack of logical connection is evident, it is this same freedom which provides both spontaneity and insight which adults can be blinded to. I was reminded of this recently when Sam emerged with his theory about milk. “I know what people did for milk before there were cows!” he announced. “They melted ice cream!!”
A few years ago, while watching a movie, Rachel turned to ask why it was that it always rained in movies when there was a battle taking place. She had discerned and articulated a truth about imagery which most people miss.
There are aspects of life and reality that we are logically able to recognise and construct. The ability to think and process information is a great gift available to us as human beings. Many great truths have been uncovered this way: the nature of the universe, the structure of matter, and the human genome project, are just a handful of results emerging from our ability to think logically and consistently.
But we would be wrong to conclude that the best information and the best decisions are always made by recourse to logic. Some information available to us today still perplexes and bewilders the mind: ask any scientist about dark matter, or about the relationship between genetics and human personality. We still do not understand the resilience of the human spirit – why it is that identical twins can respond to the same stimulus in different ways. And then there is the ability to discern truth and reality without physical connection to it.
There is much to life that remains a mystery – beyond the current capabilities of logic to define and articulate.
Trinity Sunday can be seen as a continuing reminder of the need for humility in the face of reality: that God is beyond our full knowing, just as there remain many unlocked mysteries of life. Although many brilliant minds have given us insight into the Trinitarian nature of God, there are aspects which still puzzle and confound. It is a reminder that we not only know God (and life) with the mind, but with the heart, and in relationship. Some things which are beyond the ability to articulate are not beyond our experience.
The more important question is not, “Can you explain the Trinity?” but “Do you know the God who is revealed in Father, Son and Holy Spirit?” Such an encounter is life-transforming.
June 3, 2007