Saturday, October 22, 2011

Too Wonderful to Know

I was invited to speak to a book club yesterday about my book, I'm Listening with a Broken Ear. I was there two hours, but it seems I ended up talking more about my children, the purpose of books, what makes literature great and uplifting, and the difficulty of getting published, as much as I did about the book itself. This is why I prefer to write, rather than speak. When I speak, it all becomes a vast tangled vine that leads in seemingly random swirls to topics I never really intended to arrive at. When I write, this happens as well, but a writer is blessed with an eraser. There is no eraser for the spoken word.

Now it's true, sometimes the writer doesn't use the eraser enough, and I am certainly guilty of that at times. But once a word is spoken, it is out there forever. It can't be taken back no matter how many times you wish you had not uttered it. So I always approach speaking engagements with some trepidation. If I censure too much of what I say, I will not be open, engaging, interesting. If I don't censure enough, I will be lying in bed all night thinking, "You idiot. Why did you say that?" 

I came home from my book club thinking we were done with the hard part of our biology section in our homeschool, but I was wrong. Kreb's cycle was over, but now we arrived at the oxidative phosphorylation step of cell respiration. Frankly, that made the Kreb cycle look like fun.The worst part is the video teacher was smiling, and saying, "you know this!" and using words like, "obviously!"  I am amazed at how many things have to happen for the cell to produce energy. If anyone thinks there isn't a God, all they have to do is look at one single cycle of cell respiration. The number of enzymes, coenzymes, electron carriers, molecules, and ions, and bonds that are broken at just the right point to emit energy is truly mind boggling. The cell, through a series of steps, sets up its own little battery, with an ingenious pumping mechanism that transports protons in a circuit to create energy. If any part of the machinery doesn't work, the whole thing doesn't work. Even something so basic to life as cellular respiration is so impossibly complex that if it wasn't designed that a designer... well it would instead operate much as my picture on the blog today and my talk to the Book Club, a tangled web with no clear beginning or end. But it is not a tangled mess. The universe is ordered, inexplicably ordered, right down to the cellular level and beyond.

Job of the Bible was full of questions, mostly concerning the cause of all his suffering at the hand of God. He begged God to allow him a chance to air his grievances and to state his case for how he believed the world should be ordered. God doesn't answer Job's questions, but does reveal Himself to Job. And all the fight leaves Job. Job realizes that his puny perspective cannot ever match God's. In the end, Job is content to admit that God is in control, was always in control, and will always be in control. It is with repentence, but also with relief that Job understands that God directs a world that is at times, "too wonderful for me to know."

Job 42:2-4

 2 “I know that you can do all things;
   no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
   Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
   things too wonderful for me to know.


  1. The charm in a writer's lecture is always in getting to know the author better as a person....

  2. yes, thankyou, that is true....but it is always a struggle for me to not be too revealing, but revealing enough....

  3. How true the impact and finality of a spoken word. I so agree with your thoughts on public speaking. I try to pray this prayer of David before answering the phone, or speaking publicly, or even answering the question or comment of a friend: "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; Keep the door of my lips." Psalm 141:3

    Vicky, you are such a wonderful writer. Amazing the daily life's lessons you share! : ) Thank you.

  4. oh thankyou Joy- and I love your strategy for calling on God's help in speaking. I need to do that!!! Good verse to memorize.