I saw a documentary about biographers of the wealthy and famous and concluded I was glad not to be a subject at this time. Imagine that people want to know everything they can about you. Writers haggle over the chance to write your story. After a lengthy screening (and budgetary process), you select someone to write your biography, and a contract is signed. That day could be looked upon as one of the worst days of your life.
The writer would shadow you for months, dogging your every step, digging into your time, patience, and life to get your story uncovered. He (or she) would ask a thousand or two questions to discover all there is to know about you, from your perspective. But the questions would not stop there. Your biographer would then ask your family to disclose who you are, what makes you tick, and key life-shaping moments they remember. You would then be asked to turn over your phone/PDA so everyone on your contact list could be called to add whatever they wished or thought necessary or controversial. Then you would be asked to turn over anything (school yearbooks, resumes, photo albums, etc) that would tell what you have been doing with your life.
Biographers are looking for three basic ingredients for a life story: what you say about yourself, what others say about you, and what you have accomplished. That is the framework they use to get to know you in order to write and tell your story (at least part of it – hopefully authorized).
How well do you know God? If someone asked you to fill out a blank sheet of paper by writing down all you knew about God, how long would you be able write before running out of things to say? Where do you start to find out about Him? What does His biography say about Him? Where do you start? What He says. What others say. What He has done.
If you want to know God in an intimate manner, you have to utilize each of those three methods. First, you need to read the two Books God has authored (Scripture and nature) to understand what God has said about Himself. He told Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I am who I am,” to convey the name that expressed His character as the faithful God. Jesus used “I Am” eight times in John’s Gospel to claim His Divinity. Ken Burns’ series on America’s National Parks has many references to the sacredness of Creation that brought me to my knees in awe of the Creator.
Second, you have to read the Bible from front to back to find out what over 40 writers (some were eyewitnesses) said about Him and His incredible attributes – His majesty, love, mercy, and power. One of my favorite annual exercises is to read “Living and Praying in Jesus’ Name” by Dick Eastman and Jack Hayford. They include 31 names and titles assigned to Christ in Scripture, one for each day of the month, which helps me develop a greater awareness of the nature and character of God. The Bible is God’s biography and we need to master it. One way is to use a read through the Bible (a few chapters a day) this year to cover Genesis to Revelation.
Third, take a look at what God has done. What can you learn about Him from creation, the flood, the Exodus, the covenants, the Passover, the crucifixion and resurrection, and the sending of His Spirit? What can you learn about God from nature, art, music, dance, poetry, illustration, science, medicine, and history? Read and meditate on Psalm 103 every day this week.
Grow devotionally. Get to know God. Do the research. Continue in your journey to learn about the Father and His ways. What you gain will encourage and inspire you to be more Christ-like.
Love is a verb,