Friday, January 13, 2012

Changing?


It is amazing to me whenever I see genuine change occur in the life of a human. To me, it seems to be nothing short of a miracle. One side effect that we seem to have suffered from being given self-aware and analytical minds is an uncanny ability to justify ourselves and selectively attend to that which suits our current paradigms. When we cannot ignore, we will even take fantastically epic measures to slice and dice contradictory evidence which threatens that which we believe to be true. As a scientist, I have worked very hard at developing this ability.
For change to occur, it seems that something has to either circumvent or demolish our powers of explanatory mental gymnastics. As improbable as it is, it happens. There are those times in which reality bursts through our maze of consciousness with an elegant brilliance. Unfortunately, these moments of change are notoriously difficult to affect, predict, or understand.
In Thessalonica, Paul started a change in many people. Acts 17 says that he started in the synagogue, reasoning with the people. Soon after, Paul was run out of town by an angry mob. Despite the short duration of his trip, Paul wrote in First Thessalonians about how his words caught the fire of the Holy Spirit. The people of the town rioted upon his first visit, yet in his first letter he cannot stop talking about their love and generosity.
True change always requires God. Paul seems to have understood this truth. Of course humans may get the privilege to be involved, but God is the only one with sufficient power to orchestrate all of the factors that have an effect on whether change will occur. When I try to change without God, I always find myself trying again.

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