No one knows what you know. And everyone else you meet knows things you don’t. Even though my wife and I have been married more than forty years, we each know things the other doesn’t.
At birth, we immediately begin to build our knowledge base from family and friends. Perhaps due to the fact that we shared a significant common base of knowledge in our formative years, most of us tend to remain close to those siblings and friends for a lifetime. But as we grow, our knowledge differs. We follow different paths, study different subjects, pursue different careers, live in different places and meet different people. Our individual knowledge becomes unique, like our fingerprints.
The pursuit of knowledge is a good thing. And we should celebrate each achievement that increases our knowledge. But how much does any one of us really know? And how much do we all know if the knowledge of every human being could be combined?
Scientists are continually trying to piece together the puzzle of the past, to reconstruct our origins and the path we have taken to get to where we are. Physicists recently discovered what appears to be the Higgs boson, what some refer to as the “God particle,” which could answer the origin of all mass. But, even with this discovery, the sum total of our scientific, philosophical and historic knowledge represents only a small fragment of the total knowledge in the universe. The more we discover, the more we realize what we don’t know. The puzzle pieces of the past are often misleading, having to be rearranged and reconfigured to correct our preconceived ideas.
Solomon, considered by many to be the wisest man to ever live, wrote, “I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, ‘I know,’ he cannot discover.” (Ecclesiastes 8:17).
Perhaps the most important discovery is not what we know, but the fact that we are known. David wrote, “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it all.” (Psalm 139:2-4). To Jeremiah, God said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jesus said, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
As we expand our personal knowledge and strive to understand the universe, we can live with confidence that the One Who made it all knows us and loves us as He demonstrated in His Son, Jesus.