It seems convenient, perhaps even coincidental, to me that this the 500th post to this blog starts with a reference to numbers. I read a piece this morning in the Jan 3-9 edition of The Economist.
The article was about research showing that some sense of numbers is innate in humans. They have tested infants as young as 24 hours old and found an ability (by difference in reaction to) a change in the count of items presented to them. The articles suggested that infants “love of novelty” is important to the reaction to the change in the number of, say, dots on a card.
Let’s take a moment and reflect on that term: “love of novelty.” Do you still have a love of novelty? Do I?
I worry that the love of novelty runs the risk of being choked out of us as we grow older. I wonder if this happens because we become more aware that novelty may bring danger, challenge, pain. I mean, who doesn’ t know that the new or novel thing is not always good?
I suppose infants don’t know this. Infants don’t know their world isn’t a safe place. This they must learn.
As adults, we may get the love of novelty choked out of us by too often facing the novel in the bad, wrong, even evil of the world.
I believe we owe it to our children not to let our love of novelty die. After all, we serve, love, and are loved by a God who has consistently promised over the millennia not to abandon us or forsake us. We now know the world is not a safe place, but in the presence of God we can remain in a place that protects our love of novelty.
You can count on it.