Pastor Beth's Message Blog

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Rev.  Beth Harbaugh

Connecting - September 2021

 

Start with GOD



 

Beth’s Philosophy

"Start with GOD—the first step in learning is bowing down to GOD;
only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning."

Proverbs 1:7
The Message

"The first gulp
from the glass of natural sciences
will turn you into an atheist,
but at the bottom of the glass,
God is waiting for you."

Werner Heisenberg
Theoretical Physicist

Religion or Science? This time of year, with school starting, there is always something on the TV, in social media, or in print that highlights the tension between religion and science.

Why choose? Is there tension that exists between these two schools of thought and practice? Of course! But it is a creative tension, a qualifying tension, and it calls us to see many of the paradoxes in our existence. You might say that to exist makes us tense on purpose!

There are all kinds of things outside of the realm of the natural way that human beings start with through sensing the world through our sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. But we don't live many years before we have to 'step out in faith' with our imagination simply to turn on a light by flipping a switch, or to use our mind to read a story that takes us beyond our physical natural senses.

Consider human eyesight. If we first cover one eye and then the other, the pictures we are see are fractionally different. Indeed, if we lose our vision in one eye, it takes some adaptation to manage walking or driving because we lose our depth perception as well. Depth perception helps us to see by using our God-given imagination; we hold two views (one from each eye) at the same time and our mind reconciles them. Our imagination uses our previous experiences to make a picture in our mind that makes the two views work together. This allows us to see with depth; we can perceive distances better with this fuller picture. Our subconscious minds do this automatically. It is part of the second sight that we begin to develop from infancy.

The same integration holds true for sound with harmony we recognize as a song, with taste and smell from a delicious food, or with touch through a demonstrative hug over several parts of our body at the same time!

Our bodies and minds together are made for taking in lots of information at the same time and integrating it, often subconsciously, creating a map or plan for how to live our lives with safety, health, and resilience.

The problem lies in the fact that we are all in information overload. To top that off, we don't trust our own senses. Well, it turns out that the way our senses talk with our mind needs some training in order to make good subconscious and conscious choices for our well being.

Here enters school! Throughout our lives, we attend countless different kinds of school. Our parents and grandparents are usually our first teachers, and (surprise!) they don't always agree. One of the most important things we learn is to trust anyway, even in the midst of tension. Sadly not everyone learns this trust without a little help, which is where religion and psychology come in.

The words 'religion' and 'ligament' come from the same root word meaning 'to tie or bind'. Just as ligaments connect two different kinds of things together (bone to muscle), one thing that a good religion does is to reconcile conflicting concepts. Sacred writings use poetry, parable, metaphor, or story to do this. The word 'psychology' also serves the same function as it literally means 'soul words or study'. Words can build connections between concepts or between our senses and our thoughts until they make sense.

Let's help our children or anyone else to be schooled with reconciliation in mind, body, and spirit. Two concepts can be held together in creative tension with imagination, compassion, and even love until a shared picture is developed over time. This trust building is the most important part of learning. Trust relies on good communication which is the power of the Word. The Word is pretty important to Christians, as Christ is called The Word and also

"In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God."
John 1:1.

So let's start with building good relationships so we may develop good learning and skill at reconciling our unique differences. If we have not had a chance to get to know each other, let's work on making that happen. I don't want to be too forward, but I hope to have a good conversation with each of you as soon as we can arrange it. Something may arise that we will need to work through together for your well being or for our well being together. It would be great if we knew each other and held each other's trust before that time. Call me, text me, or email me and let's have fun getting to know one another.

Be Blessed!
Beth

Rev. Beth Harbaugh
319.540.1644
bethmaryharbaugh@gmail.com