Post for 2010...still makes me laugh when I think about it.
I remember where I was standing the day my class and
I discussed what life was like 100 years ago. The students were naming
things that they used everyday which did not exist 100 years ago. I
hated to admit that they didn't even exist when I was in college, but I
digress. Finally came the statement, "Everything was in black and
white." I paused...."Do you mean the pictures were in black and white?" I
asked. No, they thought the world was black and white.
I had to laugh and shake my head in disbelief. At first I wondered how
could an 11 year old be so naive'? Then it happened again during a
similar discussion...this time the students were two years older! That's
when it hit me. These students were basing their conclusion on what
they could see, on what they thought they "knew". In both classes, these
students were assuming that since the pictures from long ago had no
color, evidently the world had no color either. Yes, I know you're
laughing, but these kids were sincere in their confusion. They
could operate a complex computer and do advanced math, yet in that one
area, their understanding was definitely flawed.
As I got to thinking more about it, I remembered that when my sister was
a little girl, she got very excited that The Wizard of Oz was going to
be coming on TV! She had heard that once Dorothy landed in Oz,
everything turned to color! That of course must mean that our old black
and white TV would be suddenly transformed and we'd have a color TV at
last! Yes, the confusion existed even in my own family....because it is
As an educator, we learn that children are not really capable of
abstract thought up to a certain age. Oh, we may think they understand
the difference in pretend and real, but probably less than we realize.
Some concepts, such as spiritual ones, are very difficult for them to
grasp. As children grow and mature, they reach a stage when they can
make the connection....understand the "color" of the situation as it
What strikes me is, as adults we think we have matured past all that. We think we now understand...but do we? In the 1
Corinthians 13:12 (Message translation), it says, "We don't yet see
things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it
won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright!
We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him
directly just as he knows us!"
We think that
we understand so much about God and about the Christian walk, but do we
really? We are basing what we know on our ability to understand....just
as my 5th graders based their understanding on life 100 years ago based
on the pictures they had seen. But God is so much beyond
To think that I have the audacity to try and tell God how He should go
about "fixing" things. I am basing all that I know on what I can
understand, and the older I get the more I realize how little I really
understand! "For my thoughts are
not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than
your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
All this makes me wonder how many times have I said something that makes
God want to just shake His head in disbelief. In my limited knowledge,
am I spouting off something that is the equivalent of thinking life used
to be all in black and white? Right now, I'm feeling a bit like a five
year old trying to figure out the world....and discovering, guess what -
it's in color!