I have been one the biggest skeptics of spirituality and religion that I know of. I am not an atheist but I have subjects pertaining to religion I am not convinced about. Some would probably say I am agnostic about those areas of religion (Christianity actually) and of course I have my reasons.
Nobody just wakes in the morning and says they are skeptical about something that most people adhere to. For the most part everyone wants to fit into society and mirror the majority beliefs. Not fitting in means you risk not getting social support from the social pillars of your life.
I mean the community has a tendency of naming anyone with unusual beliefs around religion a “satanist”, “occultist” and other stereotypes that come from not understanding why this person has his beliefs. So most people have questions about these things but prefer not to verbalize them for fear of that detachment or persecution for even having a thought like that.
My family, friends and girl-friend fortunately know and sort of accept that I am convinced by rational more. Maybe because I am inclined to my left brain. They also do know I believe in God and profess Christianity despite my skeptical tendencies and contemptuous analysis.
I am rambling this background information before getting to the subject so that you take heed of whom you are reading this from. You are allowed to judge me, I can not control your opinion about me after this. However I encourage that if you disagree, you find time to address where you differ in the comments or in my DM with no need to insult me.
(However you are actually free to insult me, just that I do not encourage it. I am not attempting to control your reaction.)
If you promise to keep this discussion open, lets journey to the next phase
I have prayed almost everyday of my life, even when I was not convinced that it works. I guess it was more of a, “Well if it does not work, it still won’t hurt to do it, what if it does work?”
Which of course I myself knew was a deadly paradox because I had also read the scripture enough to know that prayer had to coming from a FAITH perspective.
Well “…it still won’t hurt to do it, what if it does work?” does not sound like faith to me. It sounds like I was giving God the benefit of doubt. A test drive of sorts.
It should be the other way round. I should be the one tested, not Jesus Christ, he passed his.
(Realizing there is so much I want to say. I will do a separate post on doubt itself, but this read alone is long and you will need to take coffee breaks in between unless you are a quick reader. However don’t be a quick reader who is not quick to catch concepts. Take time on this.)
Why wasn’t I sure about prayer?
Well in short.
Scenario 1: Sometimes I would pray for something to happen and it would happen.
I would give a testimony that prayer works.It was confirmation based on fruit.
Scenario 2: Sometimes I would pray for something to happen and it would NOT happen.
I would seek alternative reasons why prayer was unanswered such as the famous , “God has other plans,” “God wanted to protect me” occasionally, “It is the devil.” among many variations of this you probably use yourself when you feel your prayer is unanswered but you still want to stand by your religion.
Scenario 3: Sometimes I would pray for something to happen and it would happen, but it would also happen for people whom I am almost certain do NOT pray.
Well “Rain falls on the just and the unjust.” that’s actually scriptural but to me it also meant, there is thus no exclusivity of blessings… making Scenario 1 seem random…
Scenario 4: Sometimes I would pray for something to happen and it would not happen, but it would happen for people whom I am almost certain do not pray.
Well it turns out sometimes rain falls on the unjust and skips the field of the just.
Scenario 5: Sometimes it would manifest for me and not the people who do not pray.
Rain falling on the just and swerving the unjust.
The probabilities of any of the 5 scenarios there therefore seemed hard to predict.You cannot exactly say someone who is not clearly living right is not blessed, when you see him drink cogniac, date school girls, cheat the most beautiful woman in town and switch cars.
On the other hand another person who also does not live right is poor so much you would be forced to believe the poverty is a curse of his evil deeds.
How come the curse applies to one bad guy and not another when both have not repented? You then ask yourself.
The converse is true for the just.
Some good people are multi-billionaires, some good people are paupers. At surface level, no hard and fast rules for bearing fruit.
Pour another cup of coffee while you wait for next page to load for what I did next.
My Contigency Plan
So since I had established that the ingredients for an answered prayer are unpredictable and can either bring favourable manifestation or unfavourable. I did not exactly rule out prayer but began to rely more on “absolute laws and principles of the universe”.
You know gravity and so forth. They were not accurate either but they had higher probability of giving assured results. Most principles are uniform accross the globe.
A + B = C.
For instance if an “unjust person” learns the right things about music and applies himself to the craft whilst a gospel artist is naive but only prays, the reality is the “unjust dude” will make better music and the gospel music community will try to attribute his hard skill to the devil.
This is why Lecrae knows that his bars still have to be top notch, he must apply as much effort as J.Cole. (This I principle still stand by, practical intervention.)
For instance if electricity is available and and you have functional lightbulb.If someone turns it on no matter what race, creed or type of animal, it will switch on.
In the event that it fails to switch on, still the methods of tracing the fault are standard.
It is not, “Maybe the bulb saw that it was bad for me to see what was in this room.” or “Maybe the bulb will switch on at the right time.”
Which would be tricky if you bought a Philips lightbulb at TM and sort of not have an idea on when it would light up so you can study or when it would not.
I hate disappointment see. I like to forsee the end better, so it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to submit to the unknown realm whose response I couldn’t guarantee would be the one I wanted or would be delivered on demand.
That courage to submit to the unknown is what faith is.
However also taking action to invest hours of time in what you believe God is going to bless you with is also faith.
They say “Faith is works expressed.”
Accepting God’s will when he doesn’t say “YES” is faith. It is faith because it endorses that he knows best if that was a good idea or not even if in your mind it seems like the best possible outcome that could have been.
God is certainly above my ideas.
What a journey, but all this is still background rambling.
Back To Basics
I am a person who loves to learn and to think. Some would say over think, which I think is ridiculous. Use your mind because God gave it to you so you to use.
I started taking steps to read the Bible, watch sermons I could and work on my growth.A project which is underway and ongoing even for Bishops, full of good weeks, backsliding, loss of faith, good weeks, revelation.
Then God decided to visit me through what I do most… Thinking.
I believe God communicates with me through ideas and events. Let me demonstrate this.
Think of a red fruit. Then click read more again.
No not an apple… a strawberry.I mean strawberries are red outside right?
Now, this may feel crazy but I want you to say “Strawberries” out loud.
Say it again… estimate the amount of time it took to say it.
Now I am assuming, most people thought of a red apple upon me saying “red fruit”. After-all we are talking about religion and an apple is often associated with Genesis.
However , you thought of that apple in a micro-second or way less time. Just like you thought of strawberries in a fraction of a microsecond. The speed of thought is fast.
Say “Thoughts are fast”.
I proceded to ask you to say “strawberries”. I am sure you took a few seconds to say that. Regardless that you had thought it in way less time.
Say, “Words take longer to express outwardly than thoughts take to be processed.”
Please say it out loud. Do not say it in your mind alone.
Now if I then ask you to give me strawberries, you will either have to get up, find money and buy them, then proceed to bring them to me.
Alternatively you may have to grow them first. Now as you can see bringing them into the physical will take a lot more time than both thinking and saying combined.
Thoughts are quick.
Verbalization takes more time.
Manifestation to the physical takes way lot more time.
*Now pay attention, these are the key elements of the message.*
Understanding What A Metaphor Is
In English language, the general definition of a metaphor is expressing that something else is another thing.
“Jesus is the corner stone.”
Is a metaphor. We know that Jesus is not a stone, but we adding more visual to the sentence by juxtaposing two ideas.
The importance of a corner stone to a building (the church) vs. The importance of Jesus.
However metaphors do not end there.
Everything is a metaphor, the letters that make up the words you are reading are just symbols to represent certain mouth sounds we make when talking.
The letters themselves are not the actual sounds.
When I say strawberries the 13 letters representing that word are not the physical strawberries but they still give you a visual of strawberries. So the word is a metaphor.
When I say 2 cows. The “2” symbol represents how many items I must see in my imagination whilst the cows represents the item is that I should imagine paired. (Not sure if that was good grammar)
This is why poetry and philosophy are regarded as METAPHYSICAL if you have come across this word.
Metaphor of the Physical.
Take a tea break and return…
We have established now that things begin as meta-physical in thought form… when you verbalize them, it’s now tapping into the physical as sound is measurable.
What is more interesting now is it is widely accepted in the world that things change forms. For instance if I send you an audio recording.
Thought (electrical impulses) > Sound (Physical air manipulated by tongue and teeth) . Electrical in the microphone > Digital in the phone > Wave when it is sent…
Water exists as solid,liquid and gas.
In general there is wide evidence that one phenomenon can exist in different states.
So here is a conceptuality of reality…
Spirit (the infinite unseen) – [An expanse of possibility]
Mind (The intermediate between the seen and unseen) – You can imagine things you have seen and you can imagine things that you have never exactly seen. [Metaphysical]
Body (this has already manifested) [Physical]
Faith is the only medium through which our minds communicates to inherit the wealth of the mind of God. When I say wealth, it is not limited to material things. Poetry is wealth, music is wealth,love in your relationship is wealth, health is wealth.
God put this conviction upon my heart and he is in the process of transforming my mind.I must do my part by submitting not to my limited understanding or that of man, but to his infinite intelligence.
I understand this was a long article. More philosophical ideas, would have had Bible quotes but I believe it still manages to paraphrase base ideas from the Bible.
May you be blessed in the name of Jesus Christ. Please feel free to engagee in this discussion through the comments section below.