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Topic: Peer Pressure (07/05/04)
TITLE: Find the Knowledge of God
By Marina Rojas
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Oh, there were people that I thought of, as better than me. Only because they had more money than me (their parents were richer), so their clothes were nicer. But, I was too intellectual for ‘those’ people.
People that I did deem worthy of speaking to, I was discerning enough to pick up their obvious shortcomings. I would find they would acceptable for some things. I would encounter someone I might even consider smart. But, they were never as smart as me, and something as simple as a dropped gum wrapper hitting the ground without being retrieved, gave me an insight to “them”. None of them measured up.
I grew up in a household where my education was god. Dealing with the heartache of an alcoholic spouse, my clinically depressed mother spent her life pouring knowledge into my soul. She saw it as my way to escape her fate. Her favorite picture of me was of a tiny baby barely being able to sit up straight, gazing intently at a newspaper. Mom would show people that picture, while lying about when I had started reading. I understood clearly, though. It was a way to let people know I was better than them all. I had no peers.
Left to my own devices most of the time, I had freedom to do anything I wanted, but I spent my precious time hidden away in my room, reading. I absorbed information as if I were a junkie popping main-line heroin. Knowledge was important, so it made me important. When I wasn’t reading, I watched people. I was comparing. No one was my peer. At anything.
Years passed. One day, I lay in bed, not wanting to ever get out. I felt alone, abandoned, hopeless. My mind full of things, so full of information, as I struggled to find life’s answer…..I needed….what?
My eyes scanned the bookshelves covering my walls. Books…books everywhere. Surely, one of them held the answer to my plight. What was I missing? Where was the puzzle piece?
As though it was calling my name, there was an old gnarled Bible, sitting on the bottom shelf. Someone had given it to me, saying, “Here’s all the book learning you need.” I had rolled my eyes and smiled when I accepted the raggedy old book. Bringing it home, I tucked it away on the shelf (after all, no one in their right mind would destroy any book).
I picked it up, flipping through the thin pages. I tried to read some of it, but was confused by it’s message. What does all of this mean? What is this about? Isn’t this a book full of contradictions? Uh oh. I realized I hadn’t studied this book. I had never read it for myself-- I had accepted things people said to me about it, without checking it out for myself. My heart leaped. Here’s the answer! Another area for study!
I turned to the chapter index. Having enjoyed many old Chinese proverbs, I decided Proverbs would be a good place to start. Opening there, my eyes fell on some ancient words that startled me: “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” The irony struck me as coincidence, but I began to read. I researched, questioned, argued. I battled with my own god of knowledge, while finally surrendering to the knowledge of the one true God.
He gave me the knowledge that as His people, we have no peers. We are to consider everyone else, every human being, as better than ourself, yet to know that we are all equal in His sight. We are to afford each other the “peer pressure” of mercy, compassion, understanding, and most of all……..love.