Three of the hardest words for me to say are these: “I don’t know.”
I hate saying it, and yet I know how much I don’t know… I just don’t want YOU to know how much I don’t know!
One of my professors in seminary (Dr. Garth Rossell) once said, “The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of ignorance.” I’ve always remembered that, because it’s so true. The more you learn, the more you discover you have no idea. I think that’s why I like education and reading so much, because there’s always another question to ask and another perspective to discover.
But, ultimately, we weren’t created to know everything. We were made to know it all. That’s why it’s so humbling to confess “I don’t know” – it’s a recognition that I’m not God, I’m not omniscient, and I have very limited knowledge. Ever since Eden we’ve wanted God’s place, and we’ve been tempted to think we know more than we really do.
Tomorrow is my defense for my doctoral thesis, and tonight I’m reminded that the most important thing I know is this…
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.(John 3:16-17)