Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Understanding Comes in Stages

This is a post by my brother that he linked me to after I emailed him about re-reading a particular article (this post) and having totally different parts stand out to me this time, all because of the context of my life now. So, I wanted to include here for its relevance and insight:

Understanding Comes in StagesIn a radio series from the 1940's, author E.M. Forster stated that the books which truly influence us are the ones we are prepared to read, namely those “which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.” 1 Hence a truly moving reading experience is the culimnation of not just what you read but when you read it. 
Personally, I love reading with a pen or highlighter on hand. I'm sure I share this sentiment with many others. Navigating books I've annotated reminds me of what I learned while reading. Yet there have been countless times I've returned to a previously-read passage only to wonder why in the world I highlighted sentence seven and completely left all of paragraph four unmarked. However, now I realize that as I experience more of life (getting to know myself, my neighbors, my career, my friends, my world) I come to see and understand aspects of life very differently. 
As just one example, I used to gloss over snippets of javascript or terminal commands deeming them the writings of a foreign language. However, I now scrupulously inspect those snippets for nuggets of knowledge I have not yet discovered. 
Seeing, and its ensuing counterpart understanding, come in phases. What you fail to grasp and understand at this point in your development you may later find to be common sense. Be patient. Seeing and understanding come in stages through experience.
1. As quoted by Jill Carattini in her article Two-Staged Miracles over at RZIM.


  1. I've thought a lot about the story of the blind man who is healed in stages. One possible explanation is that the first stage was all his faith provided for and that a partial healing would have provoked an even greater faith to be healed.

    I think if it were me, I would have been disappointed and walked away before the second stage could happen.

    I liked this quote from Carattini's article:

    "Seeing clearly can be just as disturbing as not seeing at all. Whether in blindness or in partial sight, overwhelmed by reality or consumed by darkness"

  2. It says a lot about God's love for us and understanding of us right?