6 The 6-year-old child typically has a 2,600 word expressive vocabulary (words he or she says), and a receptive vocabulary (words he or she understands) of 20,000–24,000 words. 12 By the time a child is 12 years old, he/she will understand (have a receptive vocabulary) of about 50,000 words.
YOU’LL GET THROUGH THIS STORM
“When…the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.” Ac 27:20 NIV
There are times in life when God seems distant. We pray but feel abandoned, at the mercy of our circumstances, afraid and hopeless. Paul was no different. He’d longed for an opportunity to preach in Rome and was on his way there when a hurricane struck his ship, plunging everyone into despair. Paul had not only foreseen the loss of the vessel, its crew and cargo, but his “own [life] also” (See v. 10 NIV). And his warning was disregarded by the captain, the pilot, and the centurion in charge of him. Consequently Paul and 276 fellow passengers were placed in a life-threatening crisis, and there was nothing he could do about it. Terrified, he and his companions declared, “We finally gave up all hope of being saved!” After fourteen days at sea without sun or stars to guide them, and just when the hurricane was fiercest, God sent an angel to Paul. “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you” (v. 24 NIV). They were cold, soaked, and hungry when their ship finally ran aground on an island south of Italy. Every circumstance pointed to tragedy and the demise of Paul’s dream of preaching in Rome. However, when the sun rose on the island of Malta next morning, it became clear that God had piloted them through the storm to the exact destination He had planned for them. And Paul ended up declaring God’s Word before Caesar in Rome. So take courage—you’ll get through this storm!
Think of human development as a long journey. At the beginning, we live at the mercy of nature. Dependent on its bounty, we pray for rains and freedom from natural disasters and plagues. At the end of the journey, nature lives at our mercy. We use science and technology to release new wealth and remake the planet. Today, as humans implant themselves with microchips, install artificial organs and plan Mars colonies, we even aim for a ‘singularity’ that will lift us out of nature once and for all.
I try and maintain that we are all kind of self-absorbed. And we’re hungry to feel validated, and we definitely feel validated by people who are like us, who kind of mirror our values and our ideas—they kind of give us that sort of narcissistic thrill that we are okay, that there are other people like this out in the world. It is what drives people to identify with some narrow group. The narrower the better. It’s a little hard to identify with a group of 500,000—it’s kind of abstract.
So there’s this ugly aspect of human nature that forces us to become more and more tribal. And it’s so insanely irrational. When I was working on the book, this is what I was trying to come to terms with—we are all stemmed from the same small group of homo sapiens from Africa, some hundreds of thousands of years, millions of years ago. We are all essentially the same. We all evolved. There’s no real sense of what it means to be white. The whole notion of white as a race is completely debunked scientifically. We are a mix of so many different races, and there’s no one who’s ever a pure race. We all come from the same roots.