I’m at a phase in my life where I have been forced to ask ‘Who said?‘ to almost everything I read and hear, unfortunately, not a lot of people understand that it has come with my academic journey, where I have to reference and cite who said anything to either support or counter an argument. The official term for this is referencing and citation, and academically, it is both an ethical and criminal offence to write an academic paper without references and citations.
So with us Academics, you read so that you can write. An attempt to write without reading is dangerous and can end with you before an ethics panel and subsequently in jail. I know it sounds drastic and dramatic but it is reality and so we have learnt to reference and cite as we write, but hey, I promise that the point of this post is not referencing and citation, or maybe…
I was walking home about a week ago and a song dropped in my heart and found its way to my lips before I could think; “…with no point of reference, You spoke to the dark and fleshed out the wonder of Light...”. It is a popular song among most Christian communities. So Will I. I sang this same line about four times, out loud and the Holy Spirit whispered in my heart that “God could never have been a PhD candidate”, I did not know when I burst out laughing and I said “omg yesss!” because His creation made no point of reference to what had already been. All about Him was taken from a novel approach (meaning it applies to what is not only new but somewhat strange or unprecedented).
God made no existential reference to what He made. He created from Himself, of Himself, by Himself and FOR Himself.
I was screaming the rest of my journey home at the level of power and creativity a being had to host to be able to create in this capacity. I found a new reverence for God that evening on that short walk home. The One who needs no reference to act, to be, or to do.
This Novel approach to creation did not just happen with the creation of the universe, but also with you and I made in His image. God made no reference to make you. Even if He had made a nose and mouth before, He did not cite the past nose or mouth to make your own. It was all fresh, new, novel. The biological process of our formation in the womb was without reference.
God was helping me understand that this is exactly how our journeys and purposes are before Him; without reference.
God cannot be working with us in a novel way while we are busy making reference to person A and person B, so while person A and B might provide lessons for us along their own journey, their life never becomes your own and so we must be careful how we reference people in God’s dealings with us and our situations.
In the end, He is God and not a PhD candidate, so He creates and we reference and cite His work, never in a comparison way, but in pointing all of creation back to the Him.