Happy Birthday my eight year old grandson. It continues to be an incredible pleasure to watch you grow up. I see you as a kind, compassionate, curious, smart young man who is an awesome role model for your brothers to look up to. And it is because of you that I tried a new thang this year. Because of your interest in the Rubik’s Cube I decided to buy a 3×3 cube and learn how to solve it. Which I did. I am not fast but I can solve it to my satisfactory pace.
But it has occurred to me that there are several lessons that can be gleamed from the Rubik’s Cube that you might not have thought about.
#1 – The cube is seemingly complex, but actually straightforward. There are millions of different permutations and yet it can be solved by knowing a few basic moves (algorithms) as well as when and how to apply them. Life can be this way too. Sometimes it appears as if it is a complete and unsolvable mess but once you understand what to do it is generally just a matter of time and patience to unravel the mess. The best place to learn how to solve an unsolvable mess is God’s Word. The Lord has a track record of creating beauty out of ashes.
#2 – Watching others solve the cube can be very very helpful. There are no doubt many people who have solved the cube without help from anybody. I am not one of them. I watched several YouTube tutorials to learn a method that made sense to me. As you grow up you will be tempted to try to figure out life on your own. My encouragement to you is to find people that you respect and learn as much as you can from them. Paul said in Philippians 4:9, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Find worthy role models – but also be a worthy role model for others.
#3 – Did you know that the center cube on each face is immutable? It never moves. It never changes position. Having confidence that those center pieces will never move lets you use them as a framework to arrange all the other cubes around. This is also true about God. He is immutable. And you can have complete confidence that if the framework of your life is built around Him then you can make sense of life even when it seems to make no sense. James 1:17 says it this way, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
#4 – There’s a huge difference between learning how to solve the cube and figuring it out. I have learned how to solve the cube but I have not figured it out. As far as the Rubik’s Cube goes, I am content with this. I am not content with this as far as my relationship with God goes. Many people are. Many people are content with knowing their way around the Bible; with being able to quote a few key Scripture verses; with knowing a lot of things about God. They have solved the “God problem” part of their life. But God is not a problem to be solved. I don’t want to know about God. I want to know God. And I know that I will NEVER “figure Him out”. Nor would I want to. If I could then He would not be a God worth knowing. Knowing God is a worthy lifelong pursuit of getting to know Him better. And as J.I. Packer says, it a pursuit “calculated to thrill a man’s soul.” I hope it is a pursuit that you will zealously aspire to.
I am very grateful for you and love being your Pop Pop! May your birthday be full of bodacious surprises.
Never forget that you are very loved!