Posted: 8/4/17 at 7:00am. Column by Ed Jordan.
When you think of the word discovery, what comes into your mind? A new country, a new world, a new recipe? Does a discovery have to be big to be exciting?
Suzanne K. Langer once noted: “Most new discoveries are suddenly seen things that were always there.” In other words, we are daily rubbing shoulders with things or ideas that have always been present, and yet one day our eyes or minds are opened to finally “see” them.
I will give you an example: Growing up, I loved corn on the cob with butter on it, but it was always hard to use a knife to spread butter on a hot, slippery ear of corn. Some 20 years later, I was eating dinner with a family that buttered corn on the cob a different way. They put the pat of butter on a slice of bread, and spun the ear of corn in the butter. Eureka! Here was a better way to do something which I had not discovered.
Here are a few other examples. Gold existed in the creeks of the Sierra Mountains for centuries, but someone had to discover it before the Gold Rush could begin. A good friend of ours remained unmarried for years, and then suddenly ran across a classmate from his hometown. Once they crossed paths again, they discovered a new love. Many people have talents or interests which were always in them, but lay dormant for years—perhaps decades. Then one day the person discovers a passion for playing guitar, acting, writing, or doing woodwork, and their life changes.
I was a late bloomer academically. My senior English teacher saw something in my essays and took a special interest in developing my writing skills, as we wrote at least one essay a week. At the time it was just another class, but she knew that if I went to college, I would need to write term papers. I wrote lots of class papers through college, then through three years of my Master’s degree and two years of my doctorate, as well as a dissertation. Today I write a sermon a week, plus a column a week. Thirty-five years of weekly sermons all started from discovering the ability to convey thoughts and concepts in written and oral form. Add in another ten years of weekly columns, and a love for writing was no small discovery.
There is one very special discovery that can totally change your life, and it is as near to you as breathing. The apostle Paul had spent many of his early years preparing to be a Jewish Rabbi. He learned multiple languages, memorized scripture, and went through rigorous training regarding intellectual information about God and the Jewish faith. Paul had the best training, education, and pedigree. He was a member of the Pharisees, the most meticulous implementers of the Law and religious regulations. But in spite of all his pursuits to know and serve God, he discovered that he did not really know God at all. He knew lots of stuff about God, but had never really met God.
One day Paul was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians when he was suddenly surrounded by an overwhelmingly bright light, and a voice asked him personally, “Paul, why are you persecuting me?” In Acts 9:5–6 (ESV) we read: “And he (Paul) said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
Paul had spent his whole life trying to serve a God whom he had never met. When Jesus came to Paul on the road to Damascus, Paul discovered Jesus, and it totally transformed his life. Many people have made this discovery, and many more have not yet discovered him. I was raised in church, knew lots of stuff about Jesus, and knew who he was, but during the latter years of college I discovered Jesus as I never had before. He had been right there with me, and around me, for years. But I had never surrendered myself and my plans to him, in order to discover his plans for my life.
Have you discovered Jesus, the living one who comes to live within us and change our entire lives? It is a discovery that many devout people have missed. Ask Jesus to reveal himself to you. You will not only discover Jesus in a new light, but you will discover a whole new world seen through his eyes.