Verifiable Results

There’s an interesting fellow I see often on my drive home from work. He’s a boxer. You can see him almost daily along the Riverwalk in Tulsa. He stands in the middle of the drainage ditch and he jumps rope and shadow boxes. I’d like to know his story, but I haven’t ever had the nerve to find out. I wonder if when he was a younger man that maybe he did real boxing, but now he might be living in his imagination, but then I think that my thoughts are presumptuous. Maybe he just likes the exercise.

Youngsters

When I was younger I spent a lot of time praying. I prayed for the children in Africa and the people I saw on the news. I had no way of physically helping, but somehow the praying didn’t feel like a copout. I felt satisfaction after I prayed and I thought it was proof of results. It seemed that it was a ping back from the source telling me Yes, that’s it. You’re on target. But it wasn’t. It’s not. It’s just the chemicals in my brain telling me I’ve done an action that my belief system approves of. It’s not confirmation of it being effective. Otherwise the continent of Africa would be full of healthy people. The bad guys controlling the countries would be dead or disabled. The wildfires of Texas, Colorado, and California would be over as well as the long drought. And yes, when I prayed for these things I had faith. I got the ping back.

If only

If there is a god and the precepts are true then the results should be verifiable. If a disease or tragedy hits because of sin it should harm only the ones doing the wrong deed, or am I a simpleton. I’m thinking the arrow of disease is coming from the hand  of a just god.

Christians should be by a verifiable percentage of reality these things:

  • healthier than other religious people
  • impervious to disease more so than other religious people
  • not dying from snake bites
  • above only, as in, not enslaved to debt
  • lead happier lives
  • wealthier or having the ability to obtain wealth

Further, the Bible makes specific promises, but these promises are never fulfilled. For instance, John 15:7 states, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” This is simply not true! How many Christian people have prayed all over the globe for a release from the grip of terrible suffering just to be left in their circumstances with no way out?  Lydia @ DogmaDebate

If something exists or a pattern is true then you should see results. For example, if you take a medication that has been approved by the FDA Federal Drug Administration, it’s already went through Double Blind testing. There are certain tests that show it works. The man on the side of the road is getting exercise. I don’t wish to mock or belittle someone for their efforts. I only want to acknowledge the difference between efforts and results. If you want the exercise of meditation or praying or even shadow boxing, yes they do have their own benefits, but if you want to knock someone out you’re going to have to punch them.

So what works?

In the Bible, James says,

Faith and Works

17Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

 

 

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You’re Not Listening

Angry Talk (Comic Style)

I AM NOT YELLING!! I’M TRYING TO MAKE MY POINT. DO YOU HEAR ME?

What happens when we yell? What happens when we get yelled at? I cower, run for cover, or if backed in my corner, I get defensive.

Why do we yell?

We want to make a point. We have an issue or a gripe and we want you the listener to hear us. If we yell, then you know without a doubt we mean it. Right? Stomps foot! Or do we turn off? Walk away? Put up our hand? Some might start crying. Some might yell back. But NO ONE listens. We can’t. It goes against every little fiber of our being to listen. Yelling hits us at our nerve core and radiates up our spinal cord until-ding, ding, ding-you ring our fight or flight bell. Every time. 

So why do we do it? We are scared. We are afraid of you, the one we are yelling at. You may have hurt us or you remind us of someone who hurt us in the past. We have to square off first. Like the bird ruffling up his feathers or the cat with all hairs on end. I’m bigger than you. Bigger, badder, meaner. Don’t mess with me. But I thought I was scared? I am. I’m hiding my fear underneath these scary, ugly, loud snarls.

yelling.
yelling. (Photo credit: J-Urban-Hippie)

So what happens when we yell? We turn off what we want to turn on. We push what we really want to pull. We scare those for whom we care. Mostly we make ourselves tired and weak, because we’ve wasted a lot of energy.

Electricity is a wonderful thing. It’s power is amazing. We, mankind, have harnessed it. I love my computer. And my washer and dryer. Electricity helps me be comfortable and entertained on Sunday afternoons watching Netflix. Or listening to Vevo. Watching silly videos on YouTube. But electricity without being channeled through the right wires, circuitry, and breakers would kill me. Zap! Ka-bing!

Fire is the same way. Wintry evenings by the fireplace and a warm blanket, mmmm. That’s a great place. But fire raging across the plains of Texas or the mountains of Colorado or coming towards my house, makes me want to run. To cower. Or to fight back.

You know where I’m going with this. Me yelling at you, has the same response as the fire coming towards you. Or a lightening bolt. Run for cover or run for your life. There must be a better way. I have to tame my fire. Harness my anger. Yelling uncontrollably feels right. I’ve vented.

I am big.

I am bad.

And I am one tough cookie. Don’t mess with me. But who got burned in the end? Even if they deserved it, razing the enemy doesn’t heal my pain.

We need an expression that works. Stop before we yell. What is the point I want to make with the person in front of me? Can it wait? Maybe this moment isn’t the best moment to make it. With some, those you’ve told a thousand times, the point may never reach them. Those you walk away from and let them be. Others may need something beyond words. Remember tough love?

Yelling makes us feel like we’ve accomplished a task. We made our point. We vented our anger. Open your eyes. No one’s listening.

The Rescues-You’re Not Listening (Live at the Troubadour)