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Confession: But Are You Laughing at Me?

So here we are: my babyhood died long ago, but I myself am still alive… God, tell me.. whether my babyhood followed on some other, expired stage of my life?... tell me what took place even before that? Was I anywhere or anyone? I have no one who can tell me this… But are you laughing at me as I ask these questions, and commanding praise and testimony from me for yourself that draws on what I do know? —Saint Augustine, Confessions 1.9

Augustine asks impossible questions. As we have seen, these questions are curious, not interrogative. Being curious about God's unfathomable majesty creates in us wonder! But I wonder, what we might look/sound like to God asking these questions. I imagine it must be like listening to toddlers process ideas far beyond their understanding. Augustine acknowledges our questions must humor God. But our curiosity does not excuse us from obedience. Although what we know is little, it is enough to command praise and testimony from us.

Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.—Deut 5:1

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.—John 14:15 (ESV)

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.— James 1:22

Note: These are my daily reflections as I go through Saint Agustine's Confessions. Unless otherwise noted, I am using Sarah Ruden's translation of the original text, and the NIV.


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