Poor elephant. Around our house, he’s sometimes in the room, but we often speak of eating the elephant. Ha! I think I’m going to use both of those thoughts today and more.
I read a great article by Vicki Hurley about the character traits of God and was reminded of a poem from the 19th century by Jonathan Saxe:
IT was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
Depending on where the men were on the beast, they had a different simile for the elephant. The one at the trunk believed it to be a tree branch or a large snake. The one who touched the tusk thought the animal to be like a giant spear head. The one feeling the ear compared it to a fan and the one at the front leg claimed it to be a sturdy pillar. The one at the stomach thought he touched a wall, and the man standing at the back thought the tail was nothing more than a rope.
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
And all were in the wrong.
Saxe’s poem (from what I can see) seems to disparage a religion that worships a God no one can see. What a shame, ’cause I get a whole ‘nuther thought from it.
Who can fathom the greatness of our God? He is too amazing, too high, too much for any person’s mind to encompass. But if we look at His character, defined by His names, we can appreciate Him one trait at a time. Sort of like the blind men as they analyzed the elephant.
That’s what I’d like to do here for the next several weeks on Thursdays. Next week, I want to investigate His name, I Am. I have no idea what He’s going to teach me through this study, but I’m looking forward to learning! I hope you’ll join me and share your thoughts.
Your Turn: What is a name of God that most resonates with you?