Daily Riches: The Knowable, Unknowable God (Anthony de Mello, Dallas Willard, Thomas Merton and Mark Twain)

“A saint was once given the gift of speaking the language of the ants. He approached one, who seemed the scholarly type, and asked, ‘What is the Almighty like? Is he in any way similar to the ant?’ Said the scholar, ‘The Almighty? Certainly not! We ants, you see, have only one sting. But the Almighty, he has two!’ …When asked what heaven was like, the ant-scholar solemnly replied, ‘There we shall be just like Him, having two stings each, only smaller ones.’ A bitter controversy rages among religious schools of thought as to where exactly the second sting will be located in the heavenly body of the ant.” Anthony de Mello

“Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.” Thomas Merton

“We live at the mercy of our ideas, we would be wise to reflect carefully on those we have about God.” Dallas Willard

“In the beginning God made man in His image, and man has been returning the favor ever since.” Mark Twain

“This is what Yahweh says:
‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me.”’
Jeremiah 9:23-24

“Now this is eternal life:
that they know you,
the only true God,
and Jesus Christ,
whom you have sent.”
Jesus in John 17:3

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • “What is the Almighty like?” How would you answer the question?
  • When you think about God how much does he resemble you (in values, temperament, perspective, gender)?
  • Can you live with the tension involved in the idea that you truly know God and at the same time don’t really know him? Can you entrust yourself to a God that you can’t accurately perceive or describe?

Abba, thank you for revealing yourself in Jesus your Son. Help me to strip away my preconceptions and prejudices when I look at him – and when I think about you.

For More: The Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”