What’s your favorite riddle?
According to popular legend this was President Theodore Roosevelt’s favorite riddle:
I talk, but I do not speak my mind
I hear words, but I do not listen to thoughts
When I wake, all see me
When I sleep, all hear me
Many heads are on my shoulders
Many hands are at my feet
The strongest steel cannot break my visage
But the softest whisper can destroy me
The quietest whimper can be heard.
Have you guessed the answer yet? I certainly didn’t–but then I never find it easy to answer riddles. (I’m STILL trying to bury the survivors of a plane crash on the Canadian border!)
Riddles can be a lot of fun. Obviously, I find the best riddles in THE HOBBIT..but that is probably because I love that novel and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkein.
Many things we read in Scripture appear as riddles to our eyes. Debates rage over everything from obscure meanings seen in its prophecy to how God measures time. It is good then, to see Paul’s instruction on how Christians view life as he set down in 1 Corinthians 13. This famous dissertation is often used in wedding ceremonies as it deals with the matter of love…but there is a verse given here that gets to the heart of our maturity in faith.
1 Corinthians 13: 12-For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Our vision of God is a partial one while we are here on earth. Scriptures show us a great deal of His holiness and character–but we are unable to comprehend Him completely for do not have that capacity as imperfect creatures. Only when we are cleansed of our humanity to be in perfect harmony with Him as we first were in creation will we truly ‘know’ God completely. While we gaze at His mighty works and glimpse his perfection here, in heaven His reflection will encompass us so completely that we will KNOW Him so fully that it will be like ‘knowing’ ourselves.
Truly, this boggles my mind. To know love that fully; to understand perfection completely; to see the One who created the sea and stars…
This promise of perfected, completed, and unlimited Divine love will be in us as it is in God. What a riddle! Obviously, our God has a sense of humor about His creation. It is as if he lets us see Him winking slightly…as if to say: “You’ll get there…eventuallly. You can understand me partially on earth…OH, BUT WAIT UNTIL WE MEET IN HEAVEN!
The answer to President Roosevelt’s riddle is: An actor.
The answer God gives us to the riddle of seeing Him…God gave His creation a second chance when they failed Him and chose the way of sin was by allowing us to follow His son Jesus Christ. How magnificent the thought that we will be able to worship and abide with Him in heaven through our claim of salvation due to Jesus’ atoning death for our sake.