Everywhere in primary schools across the country today children are encouraged to learn independently by exploring, asking questions, experiencing different things in many different ways. Most lessons are taught in a way that caters for different learning styles in order to unlock the children's learning capacity and potential. Interactive lessons where asking questions is actively encouraged have become a normal part of school life. As I think about the way our education system works and I think about my life I have many unanswered questions.
I think about the many years that I have sat in Sunday school classes, church services, Bible studies and prayer meetings listening to what is being taught never really questioning. I would read my Bible and what I read would always align with what I had been taught in church. My belief system was solely dependant upon what I had learned there.
I had been taught and knew many Bible 'stories' or accounts i.e.
Noah and the ark - The animals went into the ark two by two? Right? Two of every animal?
Wrong. Actually it was two of every unclean animal and seven pairs of clean animals.
The creation story - Adam's wife was called Eve? Right?
Wrong? Her name written down in scripture was actually called 'Hawah' which means living/ life/ to make. She was the mother of all life. (The name Eve is actually the name of Sumerian goddess.)
Over the past few years I have studied and questioned many things that I have been taught in church. I have studied Hebrew and Biblical history and my eyes have been opened to a wealth of information and truth.
I have to ask myself why I never in 40 years ever questioned and actively sought out and learned things for myself.
Is it because I didn't care? Is it because I just trusted that those people teaching knew more that me?
Is it because I was more caught up in the tradition / religious / social aspect of attending church?
Did I hear teachings so many times that it became old news to me?
Had I become so conditioned to accept what others say as truth?
Yes I had a relationship with our Father, but had I lost the wonder and miraculous element of who He is and got side tracked with the social, serving and doing things rather than actually seeking His kingdom for myself?
In today's society we are so conditioned to accept what is taught as the 'norm' and to fit in with society's way to do things. We can become so side tracked with juggling life as society dictates that we can box our relationship with our Father alongside all the other things in our life i.e. career, house, cars, family, social life, hobbies, church life etc.
Our Father cannot be boxed in. He wants to be the centre and core of our lives and certainly not part of any robotic, traditional man made system. Maybe its time to sit up, stop a while and think out of the box and start thinking and questioning for ourselves??
One of the biggest things that has impacted me over the last few years is the many things we sometimes do and say without even thinking about what we are declaring or saying. Sometimes we say and do things so many times it can just becomes robotic.
For instance, everyone knows what is called 'The Lord's prayer' found in Matthew 6 v 9. 'Our Father in heaven hallowed is your Name....' I have prayed this prayer thousands of times yet why have I never ever questioned what our Father's hallowed name is? Yes we use titles that are written in our Bibles 'God', Lord etc but why not His Name? If I am stating in my prayer that our Father's Name is hallowed why don't I know what it is or why do I not use His Name? What is His hallowed Name? How can I justify praying this prayer if I don't even really understand what I am saying? There are many traditions that we have been handed down to us in school and church which we never question or research for ourselves, don't even get me started on Easter and Christmas traditions!!
We say the word HalleluYah very often when in church. What does it mean? It is actually a Hebrew word meaning 'Praise Yah'. (Yah being the shortened version of Yahuwah, our Father's Name!). I would use this word but I never really knew what it meant. I just knew that a lot of people said it when they liked what was being preached!!
Can you see how easy it is for traditions to simply become mindless traditions and nothing more. Yahuwah (which by the way is our Father's Name) tells us to 'Seek His kingdom', and that does not mean mindlessly reciting things we have been taught to say. As we stop and think a while and really seek His kingdom for ourselves by asking questions, seeking answers maybe we will begin to feel that excitement once again and a hunger to learn more and more of who our Father is and unlock even greater understanding of His kingdom for ourselves and experience His love in a far greater way than we ever thought possible. That understanding does not come without time and effort spent nurturing it and knowing our Father for ourselves. A deeper personal relationship with our Father starts when we begin to call upon His most wonderful, powerful Name. It is the key to unlock greater understanding and to experience a deeper sense of His immeasurable love .
Psalms 105 'Give thanks to Yahuwah! Call upon His Name, make known His deeds among the people. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him, speak of all His wonders. Make your boast in His set-apart Name. Seek Yahuwah and His strength. Seek His face always.'