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This really corny cartoon dedicated to:

Carolyn (A.K.A. Windy) - Myers Park
Hoppy - Myers Park
Sharman - M.P.H.S.

Blessed Are Those Who Ask
Jill Carattini

It was the intention of my high school math teacher to demonstrate exactly
what every student wonders when drudging through exercises that challenge
motivation and patience to the highest degree: "Why on earth is this
important for the real world?" Interspersed throughout his lessons were
statistics that were intended to spur us on to greatness: "Life and
trigonometry are in the details," he would say, followed up by statements
like: "Had the position for one of the bases of the St. Louis arch been
miscalculated by only a few centimeters, the two arms of the arch would
have missed one another completely." Or, "A 1.3 millimeter spacing error
in the assembly of a mirror within the Hubble Telescope, in effect, put
blinders on the most powerful telescope ever made (and embarrassed a few
former math students).

But there was something freeing about his vow to reveal the significance
of the tedious coursework he readily assigned. He didn't see us as
indolent students asking "why bother" in harmonized whines (though our
motives were undoubtedly mixed and laziness was easily one of the
factors). But he made it okay to ask why--even mandatory. We did well to
ask what on earth trigonometry had to do with reality because however the
question was asked, there really was an answer. And if we would hear the
answer, we would find that trigonometry wasn't nearly as meaningless as we

I have often wondered what went through the minds of the disciples as
Jesus spoke of mustard seeds, wine skins, and thieves in the night. In
their three years with Jesus, I am sure the question crossed their minds:
"What on earth does this parable have to do with the real world?" More
than once the Gospels impart the disciples questioning amongst one
another, "What is he talking about?" Imagine their excitement when Jesus
promised that a time was coming soon when he would "speak plainly" (John

As humans we are inclined to ask why. It becomes our favorite question at
age two and something is lost when we forget it. The desire to know simply
for the sake of knowing is what separates humans from animals, said C.S.
Lewis. We are inclined to ask, inasmuch as we must ask,
because there is an answer. As T.S. Eliot penned:

We shall not cease from exploration,
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

As the disciples watched and listened, Jesus told a crowd of people a
story about seeds and soil. When he finished, they took him aside and
asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" (Matthew 13:10).

Jesus replied, "I speak to them in parables because 'though seeing, they
do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.' In them is
fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: 'You will be ever hearing but never
understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.' For this
people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and
they have closed their eyes... But blessed are your eyes because they see,
and your ears because they hear" (Matthew 13:13-16).

I'm not sure he answered the question they thought they were asking. It
reminds me of the circular discussions we had as children and the
why-halting words of a parent, "Because I said so." In effect, Jesus
seems to have said, "I speak to them in stories they don't understand
because they don't understand." Yet even after calling the disciples
blessed because their eyes and ears were getting it, he still
explains the parable to them in detail.

What seed had to do with the real world, I'm not sure the disciples saw
clearly before it was explained to them. But that the man before them had
something more wonderful to do with reality than they could yet grasp was
knowledge that opened their eyes along the journey and made them blessed.
And he gave them permission--even incentive--to ask why.

As my math teacher urged us to see that it was our vision of the "real
world" that needed revising, so Jesus compels us to see more. His
parables speak into a truth-starved world and leave us asking not only,
"What does this have to do with reality?" but more invasively, "What
IS reality?" However the question is asked--with ears hardly
hearing, with eyes opened or closed--there is an answer, and Christ has
something to do with it.

Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi Zacharias
International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)
"A Slice of Infinity" is aimed at reaching into the culture with words of
challenge, words of truth, and words of hope. If you know of others who
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* * * Four Important Things To KNOW: #1) For ALL (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) have sinned & fall short of the glory of God. #2) For the wages of above (see #1) are DEATH (Hell, eternal separation from God, & damnation) but the Gift (free & at no charge to you) of God (Creator, Jehovah, & Trinity) is Eternal Life (Heaven) through (in union with) Jesus Christ (God, Lord, 2nd Person of The Trinity, Messiah, Prince of Peace & Savior of the World). #3) For God so greatly loved & dearly prized the world (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (anyone, anywhere, anytime - while still living) believes (trust in, relies on, clings to, depends completely on) Him shall have eternal (everlasting) life (heaven). #4) Jesus said: "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE. No one (male/female - American, Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Asian, Presbyterian, European, Baptist, Brazilian, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc. ) comes (arrives) to the Father (with GOD in Heaven) EXCEPT BY (through) ME (no other name). *** This wonderful loving GOD gives you the choice - - - (Rev. 3:20) {Please note that church membership, baptism, doing good things, etc. are not requirements for becoming a Christian - however they are great afterwards!!!} *** Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction (Hell, damnation, eternal punishment), and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life (Heaven, eternal happiness, forever with God), and only a few find it.

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But these are written so that you may
believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the
Son of God, and that by believing in
Him you will have life. Jn 20:31

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call on Him while He is near. Let the
wicked forsake his way and the evil
man his thoughts. Let him turn to the
Lord, and He will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for He will freely
pardon. "For My thoughts are not
your thoughts, neither are your ways
My ways," declares the Lord. "As the
heavens are higher than the earth, so
are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down
from heaven, and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making
it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed
for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is My word that goes out from My
mouth: It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and
achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth
in peace; the mountains and hills will
burst into song before you, and all the
trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the
pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle
will grow. This will be for the Lord's
renown, for an everlasting sign, which
will not be destroyed." Is 55

O Lord, you have searched me and you
know me. You know when I sit and when
I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying
down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know
it completely, O Lord. You hem me in -
behind and before; you have laid your
hand upon me. Such knowledge is too
wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where
can I flee from your presence? If I go up
to the heavens, you are there; if I make
my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide
me and the light become night around
me," even the darkness will not be dark
to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. For you
created my inmost being; you knit me
together in my mother's womb. I praise
you because I am fearfully and wonderfully
made; your works are wonderful, I know
that full well. My frame was not hidden
from you when I was made in the secret
place. When I was woven together in the
depths of the earth, your eyes saw my
unformed body. All the days ordained
for me were written in your book before
one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts,
O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would
outnumber the grains of sand. When
I awake, I am still with you. Search me,
O God, and know my heart; test me
and know my anxious thoughts. See
if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Ps 139

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up,
that I may show My power in you, and that My
Name may be declared in all the earth. Ex 9:16

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
- - Isaac Watts

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