When you’ve written as many words as I have over the years, it’s kind of a big deal to set one aside as the favorite.
As the author of creation I’ve always believed God has a special love for, and kindred spirit with journalists, because of all the things he could have used to communicate with us, He chose the written word. Ink on paper.
Transcend is my second favorite word of all time. I love that word. The way it looks in print, the way it flows from the tongue, the profound meaning it conveys to move beyond that which is commonly known and understood. Transcendence is such an honorable pursuit in anything worth pursuing.
Discern is a word that ranks high on my list. I love this word especially because it engages so much more than a simple understanding. Discernment comes with time, experience, lessons learned, relational context, and it’s a wonderful characteristic of wisdom. During the later seasons of life, we can discern things in a transcendent manner, I believe.
Infinitesimal – a word I simply adore for its meaning (an indefinitely small quantity with a value approaching zero) and for the wonderful memories I associate with it, as it was a favorite of my old boss U.S. Rep. Marion Berry. He loved using it as a description for the intellectual abilities of so many colleagues who disagreed with him, and the descriptor was often exact. I catch myself using it in the same manner far more frequently than I should.
Here’s a clip of my old boss in rare form on the House floor. This is one of my top three favorite memories of moments of service to this great Southern legislator. He didn’t use his favorite word here, but I know he wanted to. This is worth watching if you want to get your day started with a laugh. It’s classicly known as the “Howdy Doody-Looking Nimrod” clip in reference to a Republican colleague. Debatable judgment here, but nevertheless … MB wasn’t a happy camper this day. Occasionally, if but rarely, I miss the good ole’ days like this.
But glory, oh what a wonderful word to exalt. Glory. It’s my favorite beyond all others.
In the Greek, glory is best translated as weight. So when we ascribe glory to something in balance to other things, we give it significance and importance. It’s especially relevant in the context of God’s own desire for His glorification. It takes a transcendent discernment to know this isn’t a selfish Godly characteristic, but one that’s for our own good, especially in our pursuit of truth.
And it it helps if we understand several other of God’s characteristics and engage some linear thinking.
In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth and the life.” It doesn’t say He admires the truth or respects the truth, but rather that He IS the truth.
Romans 11:32 offers enlightenment of God the Father as transcendent of our earthy understanding. Here’s an easy-to-read version of that verse:
“Yes, God’s riches are very great! His wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain what God decides. No one can understand his ways.”
Read A.W. Tozer’s thoughts on the pursuit and understanding of God the Father … Tozer’s pretty deep:
“When we try to imagine what God is like, we must of necessity use that-which-is-not-of-God as the raw material for our minds to work on; hence, whatever we visualize God to be, He is not, for we have constructed that image out of that which He has made, and what He has made is not of God. If we insist on trying to imagine him, we end with an idol, not made with hands, but with thoughts; and an idol of the mind is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand.”
That’s worth a lifetime of meditation.
Yet, God clearly instructs us to pursue a holy knowledge of him, and the answer is right here.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” 2 Peter 3:18
It’s all about Jesus, and it’s a pursuit so beautiful in that it’s a never-ending quest. We can look forward to an eternity of developing a relationship with the Father, through Jesus the Son. Now, and forever. To Him be the glory, the weight, the relevance. The never-ending pursuit of truth is the glorious pursuit of Jesus.
It’s such a transcendent notion, my infinitesimal mind can barely discern it, but I’m trying.
Thank you, Jesus.
Vaya con Dios, for now.