Contrary to how this title sounds, this is not my first thought ever, but rather the first thought that I will post on my blog.
This is not a thought that I had recently, but one that occurred to me about two months ago. It is not terribly developed, but rather in its early stages in need of more thought; however, I did want to get an initial post, so the reader may have something to chew on for the time being.
Have you ever pondered why some human beings tend to be more mature, or why certain individuals seem more able to use the gifts they have? It may be because of the specific experience that they have, or it may be because some are just naturally more mature. I know some of the more mature individuals I have met have often been through troubling or difficult times causing them to mature. On a certain day though, I began to think about another reason why this may be. In Christian thought and practice, an individual relationship with God is stressed and encouraged (did I mention hard). Although I know this to be essential, I have a new reason to see it as even more beneficial than I had before.
If you have ever trained an animal, you will know what I am talking about. A dog who does not have an owner has no use for the command “Sit!” A horse in the wild has no use for the instruction of a rider. Yet, when these animals come into the presence of an owner, over time, they begin to develop human-like behaviors and personalities. One could think it is merely us ascribing the personality to them, but then why is it that when I meet a dog who has been trained by an owner I recognize it? If I had met the same dog, but she had no owner, and had never been in the presence of a transcendent (superior in intellect) being, then I would certainly know and see the difference.
So this is my point: If animals become more transcendent in their capabilities because of contact with human beings, is it possible the same is true for us? Does being in the presence of a transcendent mind shape and mold us? Yes, I do believe so. As we draw near to God we draw near to transcendence, and as we draw near to Him, we become more like Him. Therefore, Christians become more mature and godly as they move into the presence of God. His desires become our desires, and His truth becomes our truth; however, just like the animal must submit to its owner to learn, so we to must submit to what transcends us to learn.
Think of it this way. When a horse is broken, it requires a great deal of stress between the owner and the animal. One looking on it from the outside may even see the event as tragic or cruel. But we should never end the story with the broken horse, because there is much more to it. In the hands of a loving owner, the horse now has a home, is cared for, looked after, fed, and kept safe. Most importantly, the horse now has a relationship with the owner which changes both the owner and the horse. All of these things would not be possible without the breaking of the horse in the beginning. Transcendence steps in and does what is best even if the lesser being does not understand.
Cue God, we often don’t understand what He is doing in our lives. We often question if what He is doing is the best thing for us, but being the loving Father that He is, He directs us down the right paths, even when they are not the paths we would have chosen.
In the presence of transcendence we become more like the transcendent.