For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face, Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
Paul is describing here how our knowledge of God and God’s ways are incomplete. Paul describes our partial knowledge of God as seeing a reflection in a dim mirror. (It’s interesting to note that scholars suggest that Paul had in mind Corinth’s famous bronze mirrors, known for their imperfect reflections!)
Allow me to stretch this verse a bit. I talk with many of you about these “times” and this verse keeps coming to my mind because it expresses what we are experiencing. We are seeing things in a mirror dimly!
So, when will things snap into focus?
We don’t like to be wrong, and more than that we don’t like being confused.
So when we encounter that which we have never faced before, we pause for a second until we think we get it, and we quickly lock it into a course of action. But what if we’re wrong? Because everything seems like looking in a mirror dimly, what if our understanding of what we encounter isn’t useful, accurate or true?
The magic is in waiting a few beats before you lock anything in. Getting comfortable with ‘confused’ is a stepping stone on the path to figuring things out. We need to give ourselves permission to feel confused… and resist the notion that feeling stuck was tantamount to failure.
With permission to feel confused, we become freer and more open to the creativity that ultimately leads to new paths. Confusion is a part of learning.
John V. Clark, President/Partner
The James Company