So my son and I were watching Sweet Genius today, a cooking and competition show framed around desserts with given themes and ingredients. Aside from the fact that the host was giving me the creeps, the theme of being a genius also came to mind. On the show, they are in search of the Sweet Genius to win the prize and acclaim. However in my world, being a genius takes on a bit more of a serious tone, rather than a whimsical personality and culinary mind as I saw today.
Dictionary.com defines genius as such: "an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative and original work in science, art, music, etc."
However my favorite vocabulary resource (Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary) defines it a bit differently. While one of his alternative definitions certainly describes the one above, his primary definition is much different.
n. [L. from the root of gigno; Gr. to beget.] 1. Among the ancients, a good or evil spirit or demon supposed to preside over a man's destiny in life, that is, to direct his birth and actions and be his guard and guide; a tutelary deity; the ruling and protecting power of men, places or things. This seems to be merely a personification or deification of the particular structure or bent of mind which a man receives from nature, which is the primary signification of the word.What genius guides me? What genius personifies my state of mind? To me, the answer to both of these questions is not a thing, or idea, but a Name. It's a name above all names; Jesus Christ.
Yet ... there is another ...
To some he goes by Satan, the Devil, Beelzebub, or perhaps you know him by Lucifer, or the father of lies? He has many names. It doesn't take long if you know me close enough to see conflict at times in this genius I am being led by. I would hope that my walk slowly starts to reflect more of the Former Name I mention that any of the latter ones, however I still have many moments that don't exaclty reflect the beauty of Christ.
Thank God for Grace, and not works of merit!
"And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16 ESV)So while I may endure another creepy episode of Sweet Genius with my son to satisfy his mental sweet tooth and some evening time spent with his dad, I'll also thankfully endure another day of trials. I do because I know the Genius that leads me does so with Grace. I may be led astray from time to time by another name, but I know my Shepherds voice, and sweet it is!
"In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed.. .No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people." - Noah Webster