Monday, February 8, 2010

Methhead Faith


Help me have more faith in you and less faith in everything else it is truly awe-inspiring sometimes how your unconscious mind can convey truth to your conscious, often times distracted and crazy, mind. This morning I was writing in my journal and I ended with a simple prayer. Help me have more faith in you and less faith in everything else. That sounds pretty pious and upright doesn’t it? I’d like to think that in some abstract way it is, however, I’m sure it is more offensive than not in most opinions. The source of this logic was found last night after putting down a sacred book, the bible. The book seems so heavy sometimes, not because of the great depth and spirit it was written with, but the supplemental steroids society has placed upon it. I read 4 chapters of a book I’ve been reading and set it down with disappointment. I was unmoved in this reading, unwavering in emotions and no better after I read than before. This is where the offense comes in. How could I say such a thing? My concern is not that I was static, my focus is more on why I felt disappointment afterward and if this is even appropriate. I have no qualms with being honest. Jesus was an advocate for mind and heart being the focal point of necessary revolution. So thinking something, but not saying it deserves no reward. Concealment does not negate existence. Truth is the standard I try to live by, even if that truth isn’t pleasing or “normal”, so I have no problems admitting I didn’t feel a thing after reading the bible last night.

I think out loud, it is something I do; it is my character and personality to do so. The lucky winner of going through this with me is my beautiful fiancĂ©e, Julia. Poor girl, she gets to deal with my complex mind and restless soul. After confiding in her last night at my apathetic response to the bible she responded with a heavy yet simple statement, “Are you ever going to be happy, it seems like you’re never satisfied.” She didn’t say this do discourage, this is one of the reasons I am marrying her, she challenges my mind to go places it would not if left alone. She is my external challenging standard. She thinks and sees things at angles I never thought about. I am forever indebted and thankful to her for this. Why was I disappointed after reading the bible? I had a predetermined set of expectations before even picking up the book. The expectations are simple and sound (or have sounded) reasonable to most. The bible is God’s word; therefore, when I read it I am experiencing God. Every time I experience God I should feel invigorated. If I don’t there is something wrong with me. I found great peace this morning by dismissing this assumption. The bible is God’s word, it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and I get that. I don’t mean to say I get the entire gravity of what that means because I cannot ever truly grasp complete comprehension of the Spirit. The bible is not my source of faith. Am I sacrilegious now? The bible is a tool. The bible is a mean by which God reveals himself to humanity. To say otherwise is to doubt the eternal existence of God because the bible is fairly novel, in the grand scheme of history. In Romans the writer says God reveals himself through his creation. Leaves, flowers, a cool breeze, the beautifully clear water of Lake Michigan, nor a snow capped city are the bible yet are intrinsically God as well. My expectation of extreme neural transduction is a bastard child of religious teachings based in emotions and false expectations. Should I feel a shock wave of tingles up my spine every time I pick it up?

I’ve learned about sensory adaption recently and the concept is simple, your sensory nerves adapt to frequent stimuli. Crystal Meth has become a powerful street drug that is tearing apart lives at an alarming rate. When addicts use meth over and over again, the drug actually changes their brain chemistry, destroying the wiring in the brain's pleasure centers and making it increasingly impossible to experience any pleasure at all. It basically kills the part of the brain that feels pleasure. Little by little it takes more and more to stimulate this part until it eventually dies. The question I must ask myself is how do a meth addict and an obsessive Christian differ? If I am constantly seeking more and more stimulation every time I pick up the bible or indulge in some religious activity I will eventually hit a wall or do things that are extreme and unhealthy. Maybe my faith has been placed in a result rather than an essential principle. Faith in religious stimulation may seem admirable in a room or large population of religious folk, just as a meth addiction doesn’t seem abnormal to other meth addicts. This expectation of emotional and spiritual euphoria as an effect of reading a book doesn’t seem sane or healthy. I should not toss and turn when I don’t experience something “special” when I see the word Jesus, hear of a Christian story, read the bible, or hear some old hymn. Jesus taught about peace and love. Following a God of peace shouldn’t look so violently restless should it? My trust should be in basic truths, God is omnipresent, God is love, or God never leaves me. A faith should not be based on feeling good after reading the bible or seeing direct results. My faith should be in God regardless of emotional stimulation. So I end where I began. Help me have more faith in you and less faith in everything else. That seems simple, peaceful, and more along the lines of what I think Jesus would want.

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  5. Your poor fiance. At least she knows exactly what she's getting into. :) Great post man. Peace regardless of emotion. This is part of what makes Salvation so sweet. Emotions or anything else man-made doesn't effect how much God loves us. Thanks for writing.

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