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To learn something new is to glorify God

Years ago, we ordered National Geographic for Kids for our two grandsons. It’s delivered to our house so I get to read it first and I’m as excited about it as they are, maybe more so! After I’ve read it, I lay it down in their bedroom for them to find the next time they come over. Then we all share stories we’ve read in it until it’s worn out.

This month I learned “30 Cool Things About Dinosaurs.” Did you know a T-Rex hatchling is about the size of a chicken, but as an adult, can eat 100 pounds of food in one bite? That might help you understand why, in the 1800’s, scientist Richard Owens named them, and others like them, “dinosaurs” meaning “terrible lizard.”

Maybe he’d studied that T-Rex, or an Argentinosaurus, a plant-eater weighing 100 tons and growing up to 130 feet long. It was one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered. Can you imagine how many plants he ate every day?

But every dinosaur was not that large; Fruitadens was about the size of a toy poodle and you could have held Microraptor in your hands. Velociraptor was larger than Fruitadens and smaller than T-Rex and it was able to run 25 miles per hour. Maybe I’ve mentioned it before, my dad told me to learn at last one new thing every day… and I have.

Then I read in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

At first glance, it seems to say we ought to stop learning anything “except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

But that didn’t make good sense, and then I remembered the 1646 Westminster Assembly asking, “What is the chief end of man?” And in their Shorter Catechism answered, “A man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”

For me, to glorify God is to learn something new every day; God created a world in which there is always something new to learn, and that is the source of my joy. It’s a joy the church has lost over the years by focusing on all the things we ought not to do and forgetting all the things we can and ought to do. We’ve let our “do nots” overwhelm our “dos.”

I’ll never forget the little girl saying her mule was a Christian because he had the same long face as all the people in her church. Apparently, people in authority like to use it to prove they have it; we’ve seen that happen during the pandemic.

But real authority never has to use it to prove they have it; so they’re free to use it to make our lives better…

The fruits of the Spirit are not hatred and fear and anxiety and guilt; they are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.