Are You Desperate to See?

Jesus didn't die so we could have a religion.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Brain Tease

My brain and I have been fighting. It isn’t a pretty war, as I am quite used to my brain.

Proverbs 25:2 from the Message “God delights in concealing things; scientists delight in discovering things.”

Now, that verse to me is not really the most astute or impressive Proverb I have ever read. Last night, I read a whole bunch of them, and today, that is the one that brought revelation. As I was walking down the hallway to the bathroom (as revelations often happen in unexpected places), I realized that I act too much like a scientist. (Don’t laugh!)

I was raised by the most intelligent man that I have known. I might have possibly made a sandwich for a more intelligent person when at Subway when I was a teenager, but I am not aware of such an event taking place. So, my dad is the height of intelligence in my life. (Now, my dad is probably wincing about that.)

Fathers raise their children to be like them whether they intend to or not. My dad is no exception. He raised me to be intelligent. I may have missed the mark in many ways, but my brain patterns are set in very distinctive ways. I analyze quite a bit. I look for logic in ideas and situations. I reason things out.

My dad was known to occasionally ask any of his kids at the dinner table to defend a statement, as harmless as it might appear, that they would make. He would even have us search for the logic behind jokes. Good grades were commended, and I grew up with either or both parents going to seminary or college. Learning was highly prized and I am happy for that.

When I am talking with my dad I can Amber-paraphrase a verse which really doesn’t resemble the original verse very well at all and he will be able to quote the verse perfectly; book, chapter and verse. I admire my dad very much. He uses enormous words in his vocabulary which aren't even in the dictionary. He doesn't make them up, he just uses ones that are obscure or specific to certain generes of education. I get grief from the teens I teach for using big words all the time. They think it's funny. My dad has been talking to me as if I had a college degree from the time I was four. My brain has been exercised and stretched and valued.

My brain tries to rationalize. I am constantly trying to look behind the curtain to see who is pulling the levers. I know if I do XYZ I will get ABC. If I push this button, this will happen. I am constantly looking for reason in circumstances. I look for cause an effect.

My battle with my brain has taken place in prayer. It is an earnest prayer that I want my brain to take a back seat to the Spirit. I would rather know things through God’s Spirit than to piece something together with my physical mind. When I am moved by God, my brain takes off at a sprint, as if trying to pull me away by figuring out what is going on. When God does something unexpectedly that doesn’t make sense, I am all a fret trying to figure out what just happened. I want to get God down to a formula of cause and effect. I want to be able to push this button and have the same result every time. God is the God of the unexpected. He doesn’t fit into a box, doesn’t live by physics and definitely isn’t restrained by Amber-logic. (Which isn’t even close to any real logic.)

If only my life could emulate 1 Corinthians 1&2! I want to be consumed by God. I want to inhale God. I want to have the mind of Christ, not the carnal mind figuring stuff out for me. I want the Spirit to reveal and illuminate my life. I want my boasting to be in God, not in my ability to figure something out. I would rather be a fool that God could use than someone intelligent in this world that God can’t do a thing with because they are too self-assured they have things down right or are too busy trying to sort it all out. I want to rely on the Spirit to understand what God has given me.

P.S. Dad, this doesn’t mean that I don’t think the brain is useful in my Christian life. ;o)


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