By What Authority?
Calling the Riff Raff


Leaning Not on My Own Understanding

I think that people, who may not have regard for the Bible as scripture or believe in divine direction, may often practice the principle of Proverbs 3:5 without knowing that they are obeying the scripture,

"Lean not on thine own understanding."

Every intelligent person I know bows in the presence of the unknowns of the universe. There is a common sense of awe at the wonder of the cosmos and the paradoxical nature of truth.

We tune our harps to what we know and set our compasses by given understanding of the polar realities and magnetic forces that govern us. We do that daily, but we also throw up our hands and surrender to the persistent gnawing of undiscovered forces and undefined principles of physics, mathematics, and even more mundane concepts that we know to be true without knowing why.

We comply and we continue to seek those universal theories of everything.

I know of no single thinking person inside or outside of the realm of faith who leans entirely on his or her own understanding ... except in areas where pride overcomes good sense.

We all take direction, follow laws we do not see the sense of, and follow orders we have not devised or whose meaning we have not discerned.

We do so because we often know that our lives are bettered in the process and we appreciate the finite nature of our own understanding. That is why we have experts who spend their whole lives studying minutia and sharing tidbits of their discoveries with the rest of us who are either generalists or specialists in other fields of intellectual or practical pursuit.

And every expert will inform us that there is more yet to discover than has been, as yet, grasped.

Somehow, in the sciences, this is seen as a great adventure.

It is, likewise, in the pursuit of spiritual discovery and the great adventure of knowing God.

We know enough to trust and so, the first part of the verse says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart."

That is a bigger leap of faith for many folks than the first affirmation. We are all on different paths and places along our journeys. This is something we must accept in each other. However, in my life, verse 6 has shown itself true, over and over again:

"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

So, once I do know something, and know it with humble tentativeness, I go with what I know and wonder at the unknowns, trusting God, leaning not on my limited understanding, but acknowledging His leadership, caring guidance, and benevolent faithfulness to direct my paths.

That is what is working for me.