Search This Blog

Monday, September 14, 2015

Rational lives inside irrational every time

We all go through life with hundreds upon hundreds of things being input into our brain activity each and every day.  Those things can be the purest of thoughts to the most awful of sights, sounds,  and opinions.  How we manage to "filter" out the stuff we should be letting go of and not spending much time actually considering too deeply or allowing to affect our inner peace is something which takes each of us a little time and effort to actually develop.  Sometimes we don't allow our "filters" to work all that well, with things getting past those filters, and then beginning to affect our inner peace.  When this happens, we begin to latch onto things which may not have much rational basis, but we come to hold onto them nonetheless.  It is important to recognize when things are irrational - but equally as important to recognize the rational "inside" the irrational.  For anything to be even remotely "accepted" by our brains as factual or worthy of our time and attention, there has to be some element of rational basis to it.  Wrapped deeply in what seems a little out of the norm there is something which draws us into it because of the tiniest bit of "normal" we see in it.  This may be why we can cry in a movie which is totally fiction, but pulls at our heartstrings; or jump in fright when the "bad guy" jumps out of the shadows in another full-screen depiction of some murderous plot.  Media makes millions and millions each year pulling at our heartstrings and scaring us half to death - all because we can "relate" to what seems rational and even get caught up in what is totally irrational!  If we went through all of life just believing and getting caught up in all we receive as "input" into our lives, we'd be a totally messed up group of people!

Keep my steps steady by your word; don’t let any sin rule me. Redeem me from the people who oppress me so I can keep your precepts. Shine your face on your servant, and teach me your statutes. Rivers of tears stream from my eyes because your Instruction isn’t being kept. (Psalm 119:133-136 CEB)

We keep our steps steady because we have an accurate basis by which to compare each step we take with the next one we are about to take.  That comparison of steps is against the Word of God - the instruction God gives which helps us to sort out the rational from the irrational.  Sin begins to rule over us whenever we "forget" to run the input we receive through the wisdom of his instruction.  I used quotes around that word "forget" because I think we sometimes are selective about when it is we will use the Word to be that filter in our lives.  I don't mean to point fingers here, but am quite willing to admit this in my own life experiences.  Sometimes I do a much better job with this than others. 

A statute is simply an "internal rule" by which the affairs of a man, business, or even a government are "governed" or "regulated".  It is something which acts as a guide.  I cannot draw a straight line without a "guide" by which to do it.  Oh, I can make a valiant attempt at it and get it most of the way straight, but if you really want me to draw a straight line, then give me a straight edge by which to do it. In making that straight line, it still may not be "level" - it is just straight.  To get both level and straightness, I need something we call a "level" to gauge the perfection of that line.  God's Word is both a straight edge - helping us walk straight - and a "leveler" in our lives which helps us have even balance and perfect "pitch".  

Irrational thought has a way of beginning to "rule over" us whenever we lack either balance or that "straight edge" guide within our lives.  At first, we simply buy into something which comes as input into our lives (thought, opinion, an action, etc.).  Then we begin to entertain that input a little more closely or frequently, eventually causing us to investigate it a little more until it has a hold on us. We call this the downward cycle of sin - starting with a small compromise or inattentiveness to truth or balance in our lives.  In the end, we find ourselves reeled in by the "rational" inside the "irrational". Rational describes something which at least gives the appearance of being "sound", "reasonable", or "intelligent".  Inside of every irrational thought or action is some semblance of rational thought or action.  We would never be duped if this were not the case.

The mind is a powerful tool and the input into the mind is through many sources.  We receive input which gets "filed away" in our minds through what we see, hear, feel, and even smell.  Our senses give us repeated and frequent input, in rapid-fire succession, all of which our minds have to sort through and make a determination of "rational" vs. "irrational".  I have walked by a candy shop making fresh fudge, seeing huge sheets of the rich and decadent sweet treat on display on those cool marble slabs, but if I just took the input of smell and sight as the judge of how much of this richness to indulge in, I'd be in a diabetic coma before you knew it!  I need the rational side of my thought processing to kick in to remind me a little of this richness is good - a lot is bad!  

God's Word isn't meant for us to just "consider" - it is meant for us to use as that guide by which all rational thought is determined.  If we use it as our guide to determine what is rational vs. irrational (good vs. bad), we might just come to some different conclusions as to which input we respond to in a given situation.  Just thinkin!