Sunday, September 10, 2006

My girls... Posted by Picasa

Present Tense

One of the coolest things about being a parent is that you get a front row seat to something that is absolutely incredible… watching a person acquire language. Anna is almost three and is very verbal. She has been speaking for a long time now and becomes a better communicator every day. It started early… I guess from the time she was born. She listened to us, watched our mouths move, tried out sounds and then mimicked us. At some point she started to associate sounds with meanings and before we knew it she was speaking English… it was crazy. One thing that is really cute about watching a baby learn to talk is that they try on big words before they really grasp the concepts behind those words and it comes out sounding a little off and pretty funny. For instance, Anna heard us using the word ‘because’ all of the time and decided she would start to fit it into her sentences… she would say, “Mom, I not eat that carrot because, I eat it.”

At this point, Anna understands what ‘because’ is all about and employs it quite successfully. It is utterly amazing to watch her grow and correct her own linguistic mistakes just by listening to us talk and without even being told. And as amazing as it is to hear a two-year-old put together a coherent sentence, it is weird to hear an educated adult who can’t. The other day I was reading Psalm 52 and something about it looked funny, (and I know what I’m reading is a translation from Hebrew, but something seemed to stick out like a sore thumb) like it didn’t belong. See if you can catch it… “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.” –Did you catch it? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems weird that the Psalmist said, “I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.” Since ‘trust’ is an action that carries on from now into the future, shouldn’t he have said, “I will trust…” instead of just “trust?”

Now, there are two possibilities going on here… either I am just behind on my grammar (highly possible) or the psalmist is teaching us something cool about trust in God. Maybe trust is something that must exist in the present tense. Maybe you can’t say, “I will trust God tomorrow.” You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You are stuck inside time and the only thing you know about with any certainty is that which has gone and that which is. We live inside what is. Obviously we have enough information about God’s goodness and provision to want to say, “I will trust you for ever and ever…” but can we know that we will? I think trust has to be in the present tense because trust concerns the moment you are in. Trusting God is about making up your mind and heart to believe what is true about Him right now in this moment. I think the Psalmist is longing for a heart that will make that decision to believe, and to do it in each moment as it comes, knowing that it is a decision that will have to be remade with every coming moment. That’s the heart I want to have too… one that says, “I trust you right now. I trust you tomorrow. I trust you for ever.”

No comments:

Cluster Map