August 22

The Big Picture

August 22, 2016

Personal Growth

In college I majored in chemistry, and I was fascinated at how I could combine basic elements and simple molecules to create molecules of increasing complexity—especially if there was some kind of explosive as a product (I was young). Chemistry can be quite simple, as in the creation of salt water, or it can be very complex, as in the creation of a pharmacologic compound.

Let’s imagine that we’re studying a compound that is the result of one hundred different chemical reactions. This would not be unusual in the drug industry. Let’s suppose further that you look at a single reaction somewhere in the middle of this long chain, and exclaim that it makes no sense. I try to explain it in the context of the many reactions on each side of it, but you refuse to consider anything but the one process. With that narrow approach, you never will understand the single reaction. You have to understand the bigger picture involved.

And so it is in life. Many single interactions or events make no sense unless we understand the overall picture of life—why we’re here, how every experience can teach us what we need to know, who we are becoming, and more. And none of this can be adequately understood without an understanding of God.

Without an understanding of eternal principles—God’s eternal plan—life makes little sense at all. Every injustice is a disaster, every pain nothing more than meaningless discomfort. In fact, if there is no eternal existence for each of us, why bother at all? We might as well all jump off a cliff to our deaths, because by doing so we shorten our lives for a time that is but a blip on a cosmic scale.

When we acquire a knowledge of God, and of his eternal designs for us, events small and large can begin to fit into a puzzle of magnificent beauty, promise, and power. Is it not worth whatever we can do to gain such knowledge?

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