Chicken or Egg?
Updated: Nov 12, 2022
"Which came first: the chicken or the egg?"
Many a time I've heard my kids debate this question and I have to say that the longer I coach, the more I believe this question is also true of growing and going.
Which comes first?
Do we grow and then go, or go and then grow?
It has been said that Psalm 32 was Augustine's favourite psalm. (He even had it inscribed by his bed in his last days so that he might dwell on it more deeply.) The first of twelve psalms with the same title, David writes a "contemplative" psalm. The Hebrew for contemplation here can also be translated as "instruction," so this is a psalm about guidance, contemplation and instruction.
Verse 8 reads, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you."
In this one verse, we have God saying that He will instruct and teach us. He is the One who can help us grow in our understanding so that we might thengo in the direction He instructs. The word for 'go' here is used over 1,500 times in the Old Testament. And the idea of going doesn't change in the New Testament either. If we're God's people, then we're a people on mission. We're on the move; we go.
But, and importantly, we don't go alone.
As we go, He has His loving eye on us, or, as the NKJV says, "I will guide you with My eye."
Take yourself back to Downtown Abbey days and imagine Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, sat at the head of his dining table. Mr Carson, the butler, would only need to see his master look at the salt shaker to know that he wants it, and consequently, Mr Carson would then take action. Essentially, God's saying the same thing for us. If we are attentive enough and diligently watching Him, then we will be led and guided by His eye. As we go, we will grow in our understanding of who God is and who we are in light of that, when we keep our eyes fixed firmly on our Master.