That’s So Meta

My husband is one of my biggest fans. He has always told me that I am smart even when I feel like I am not. It is his fault then, ahem, that I am going back to school. I guess I could say it is to his credit or something like that, but I just spent an entire week studying the various metatheories of developmental psychology, so today it is his fault. In the midst of my blaming him for my crossed eyes and my headache, though, I have to thank him for a new perspective.

Meta. I know you’ve heard several people exclaim “that’s so meta” at least once in the last 15 years. It has been a thing, and it’s been quite profound at times, even if it isn’t exactly a full word. Usually you hear it when people are discussing more than one imaginary universe and how they “probably intersect” and it somehow changes their perspective on how one imaginary character’s reactions are good or bad based on this entirely new information. That’s science fiction, but in science in general “meta” means that we are examining the thing we use to examine the thing we want to know more about.

See where my eyes crossed.

I said all of that to say this: We humans are always looking for the reason for the reason, on and on until we hopefully find some overarching answer to everything. We are looking for the theory of the theory of the theory. We are looking for the why of the why of the why. You see it every day. In the news when a reporter says “police are still looking for motive” or “there is no cause yet known for…” and we find ourselves paying more attention because we might get an answer that finally makes us feel secure in our knowledge.

The further I go down this rabbit hole the more I know one thing: that we are designed to look for our source. We are designed to search for God.

God is the thing that over-arches and connects all of our various “universes” or “theories”. He is the answer. He is the answer to our philosophy, to our science, to our history, to our everything.

The psalmist was one of those philosophers who found that answer, over and over again:

Psalm 83:18

“Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord – that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”

Psalm 97:9

“For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.”

Psalm 103:19

“The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.”

That is just a few of the times that God was referred to as over and above all of the things that we are so concerned with.

He is over and above our rulers.

He is over and above our disease.

He is over and above our history.

He is over and above our pain.

He is over and above our future.

He is over and above our fear.

The thing about the meta perspective, the over and above, is that it sees more than the problem or the answer. It offers the view of the interconnectedness of everything. It is what we are designed to look for, what most of us will spend all of our time looking for and what amazes us when we glimpse it. God has this perspective.

This should be a great reassurance. The one in whom we trust, God, can see more than we can ever hope to see. He can understand the why when we don’t. He can see the reason when we can’t. He can heal the real hurt when we only feel the ripples of that hurt.

Here’s another thing to think about today (cause you totally need one): That one who is over all cares about you. You can trust Him. You can trust God to see more and know more and address more than you are worried about in order to take care of you.

Ephesians 3:20-21

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

That is so meta!


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