Here’s what I mean. I was on the skydiving team at the Air Force Academy, and each year, we would spend our Spring Break and Christmas Break training in Arizona or Florida. As much fun as this was, one of the consequences of being on this team meant I could no longer look at the sky like I did before. Before I began skydiving, the sky held no particular significance: It was either cloudless, or it had clouds, and some were big clouds that made noise and dropped rain and others were little clouds that looked dogs. But that was as far as it went. After I began skydiving, though, I never saw clouds again. I saw holes.
Skydivers aren’t allowed to jump out of a plane unless they can see their landing area from the air, so flying over a cloud bank hovering over the drop zone means riding down with the plane, which is no fun at all. But if the landing area is clear, or if there is a big enough hole in the cloud layer over the drop zone, then you’re getting out, which is all the fun in the world. So I would spend my days walking around with my head back and my eyes scanning the sky for holes, because holes meant there was fun to be had.
Or suppose you’re a photographer. Do you see the world as you did as a child? Or do you see framed shots everywhere you go? Or maybe a surfer. Do surfers see waves breaking on shore like most people do? Or do they see shoulders and closeouts? The point is our perspectives, the thoughts that fill our minds, impact the way we see the world and live our lives.
So it is with God. Our relationship to God has more angles that I can imagine, but a few stand out. We can know and love him with our hearts. We can know and love Him with our souls. And we can know and love Him with our minds (Matthew 22:37). So what we feel about God matters. How we spiritually connect with God matters. And what we think about God matters.
When I say theology matters, I should probably say affections matter, and intimacy matters too. I am bent towards thoughts of God at the expense of affections for Him or knowledge of Him. This will likely come out in what I write, so be on guard against any attempts I make to elevate our thoughts about God above our knowledge of Him. But there’s a sense in which what we believe about God affects how we feel about Him and how we connect with Him.
Together we’ll explore the many ways this may work out in our lives. There is much to be said, and not enough space today to say it, but I look forward to collaborating with you to deepen our thoughts, affections, and knowledge of God in the coming weeks and months. Until then, as you travel your road of faith, be looking to the sky to discover your own holes, to see what it is you believe about this great God.