Did you know that seventy percent (70%) of the earth is covered by water? Of that, a whopping percent (96%) is the ocean.
I know. These are elementary facts. But what I find amazing is that only a whopping five percent of the ocean has been explored. This means that an amazing 95% of our planet holds "secrets" that we aren't aware of.
Many adore visiting the ocean. We love to visit and play on beaches all around the world. We walk the shores, swim, collect shells and rocks. We retreat from the heat and we watch for treasures that might have come ashore in the night tides. It is a fascinating experience.
Yet, in these little excursions, we barely see an imprint of the amazing activity that occurs in this vast space. We explore from the shore getting our feet, legs, perhaps even our arms wet. These tiny forays into exploration lead us to believe we know the ocean because of what we observe on the sea shore.
But we haven't. In order to see more treasures of ocean life, we need to dive deeper. For that we need special skills and equipment.
I like to think of the Bible as a sphere that is similarly unexplored. We are like the beach visitors. We often see what is on the surface but don't have the tools and skills to go deeper; to see things unseen. We have amazing access to what lies beneath and yet we often assume that a quick, even a literal, reading of any text will yield all the treasure it contains. It does contain treasure but not all of the treasure.
We have great tools for exploration: original language studies, commentaries, handbooks, teachers, and clergy. We underestimate both the Divine and ourselves if we limit what we know to what "we see on the shore." Today is a day that calls for an adventurous spirit. Today is a day that calls us to work together in community to explore the vast truths and inspirations of the Biblical text. Because the truth isn't defined by what we see from the "shores of the beach."
- glen edward quiring
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