On The Shoulders Of Giants: Who Are You Standing On?

My son turned two this week, which means he graduated from infancy-hood into toddler-hood. One such change was that he no longer has to sit in a high chair for meals, but moved up to the table with the rest of us in a booster seat. Its a big deal! There is something that little guy loves about being "big enough" to have his own seat at the table. It leaves him grinning from ear to ear!

Another way this "bigness" comes to fruition, is when I put him up on my shoulders and stomp through the snow in the front yard together, or move through a busy crowded hallway at his sister's elementary school concert. He revels in the opportunity to see the world from this superior vantage point. He doesn't hold on, he doesn't lock up in fear, but instead rides large and in charge, confident that my shoulders are steady and secure.

Isaac Newton was a brilliant man, well respected and popular with other scientists of his time. He was continually lifted up as one of the most brilliant men in the world. However, Isaac attributed most of the plaudits and accolades he received to those who had gone before him. He once stated "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." Newton is saying that he could achieve what he did, because not only did he continue the work of others but he actively sought wise advice.

I have lost another extended family member this week from the greatest generation. Along with other circumstances in my life, as well as headlines in the news over the last few days, this has made me pause to re-consider and re-evaluate those who have spiritually gone before me. To dwell for a moment on whose shoulder's we as modern church leaders should look to emulate. In fact, I was recently made aware of a growing trend in self-learning where people "only read dead people" in an attempt to really focus in on the wisdom of those who walked the path before us. I've not come to that point as of yet, but I do understand the sentiment.

Ultimately, here is the bottom line I came to this week. We have much to learn. We have many resources it would be wise for us to tap in to. But do we run all that we can study through the grid of God's Word? For it is there we get to know the very heart of God. That is a foundation worth planting your feet on! What about you? Think about it. Who is it that you are standing on?

Standing on the promises of Christ my King, 
Through eternal ages let His praises ring, 
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, 
Standing on the promises of God. 
- Russell Kelso Carter (1849-1928)

Milo Wilson


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