well I made it to PA and now I have a few moments to log some thoughts I've been having today.
The sermon today was about putting God in THE box.... not meaning that we need to limit him but the box that holds the purpose of our life is where we need to put Him. Alot of things went through my mind with this and I realized that we all really need to work very hard to keep Him the center of our lives.... but the thought that really made me start thinking about other things is that it is us that is in His box.... What is meant by that is that God holds all of us as His #1 Priority. The more I started to think about things and some thoughts that I had heard and had previously, I realized something very important.
There is a psychological pattern in our minds of who we will listen to and follow and who we will not. One of the biggest determining factors of this is whether the person we are hearing instruction from genuinely cares about us. As I thought about THIS thought, I looked back over my life and of the people I have come in contact with. My first psychologist did absolutely no good for me at all.... Why? Because it was evident that it was just his job... he didnt really care about my situation but he was just doing his job to get is pay check.... thats what people do. Then I look at Dr. Gaul (my family doctor from when I lived in PA) and I realize that what made him the best doctor in the entire world is the fact that he genuinely cared about his paitients. He was involved in their treatment.... yes, it was his job and that is how he made a living, but it was more important for him to see his paitents healed. It was incredible how that progressed...... but look through alot of the doctors I had been to and you will see patterns of who helped and who didnt. The ones that showed a genuine concern were the ones that helped me the most. The reason for this is that psychological pattern.... the one where we subconciously decide whether or not the person on the other end of the conversation really cares. If that person doesnt care about us, we try our best to ignore any advice from them.... If we feel that they do care about us, then we try our best to LISTEN to any advice from them.
So adding to that thought, think of relationships. Think of marriages.... me, personally, can think of the entire Tiff situation. When Tiff and I first met, I felt a HUGE feeling of her caring heart. I could tell she cared about me a great deal.... as time went on, I didnt see that anymore. What was the reason? I dont know... most likely I think it was confusion in her mind. So in this relationship, both of us did wrong.... there is no doubt of that. But what happened was the lack of genuine care. There were things in Tiff's life that were alot more important than spending ANY time with me or even talking to me. There were a ton of things that just pushed me way to the bottom of the barrel. As a result, I lost the feeling that she cared for me and that led to a snowball effect. My attitudes that developed from that were wrong and I am responsible for those but it's a very good example of how this principal can be applied to a relationship and can really make or break a marriage. The ironic thing was that today at lunch we were talking to our friends Andy and Emily (names changed) who was saying about how their first month and even first 6 months of marriage were really bad. We were joking about the situation actually, but something stuck. Emily said about some problems arising because she felt that Andy did not care. This may or may not have been the truth.... but what Emily sensed was what made the difference.
So then lets go one level higher.... Think about the ultimate marriage of man and God. This is the relationship above all relationships..... and the truth is that God has us as the center of His life.... but how do WE see that? When a relative dies, humans have a greater potential of losing sight of God in this situation. Why? We feel like God abandoned us and doesnt care. As a result of that, we feel that God doesnt care and therefore we shouldnt listen to Him.... and the snowball begins. This is a poor interpretation of how God works but if it's in our mind or our sub-mind that God doesnt care, then following Him becomes more and more difficult.... and things start to fall apart and snowball. Its these situations where we need to refocus.... we not only need to put God in our box but we need to realize that we are in His. He does care. We can put our psychological fears to rest and listen to His guidance.