I was listening to a podcast the other day and was really struck by the musings of the host and her guest. It has been weeks since I heard it and I still remember it perfectly. For a gal who has trouble remembering what I had to eat last night, that is impressive! …and speaks to the message shared.
The subject of their musings? Buddy the Elf.
Before I lose you, please hang on for a sec! Let me explain.
First of all, if you haven’t the slightest idea of who Buddy the Elf is, he is the main character of the movie Elf. Buddy is a socially awkward human who was raised in the world of elves and Santa. Because of his background, naivete, and complete disconnect with reality, he truly believes he is an elf, even after being told about his very human father. The whole point of the movie is Buddy going to meet his birth father, humorously attempting to navigate the real world and spreading Christmas cheer all along the way.
Where does that leave us?
Well, there is a point in the movie where Buddy encounters a department store Santa. Prior to the engagement (which if you’ve seen the movie, you know it doesn’t go well!), Buddy absolutely LOSES his mind in excitement and joy over the announcement of Santa’s upcoming visit.
“SANTA! I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!” is his response.
He is so excited that he just cannot contain it and has to tell everyone and create a beautiful space for Santa.
And that, dear sisters, is the thought that has stuck with me weeks after hearing it on a podcast.
There is a difference between knowing and KNOWING. One is a matter of head knowledge, the other one of the soul and heart.
To use the Buddy perspective, there is difference in knowing Santa. For me, I know Santa. I know he is a heavyset, jolly old man who wears a red suit and has a delightful white beard. I know he drives a sleigh and brings presents. But that is pretty much where it stops. I don’t know his favorites, his deepest hopes, and dreams. I don’t know what he likes and dislikes beyond the canned response of “be good, kids”.
But Buddy, he does know Santa. He was close to Santa. He had personal experiences, times spent with Santa. He even knew what Santa smelled like. He KNOWS Santa.
My experience is knowledge driven, surface level. Buddy’s is relationship driven, deeper. Know vs KNOWING.
So where on earth am I going with this?
There is a HUGE difference between knowing God and KNOWING God.
And that difference? It makes ALL the difference. One speaks to knowledge only. The other speaks to a transformed life.
Please do not get me wrong. We need the knowledge of who He is, what He says, those foundational things about our faith. But if that is where our Christian walks start and end, we are in trouble. We cannot just know Him casually.
We have to KNOW Him.
Our words, our actions, our attitudes…they all should speak to that KNOWING. Because that kind of KNOWING transforms lives, makes an impact. It is the light in a dark culture. That is the type of faith to which we are called.
Where are you at, dear sister? Do you know God? Or do you KNOW God?
My prayer for all of us is a relentless pursuit of KNOWING Him and a life that sings the beauty of it.