Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Psalm 81 "Problem Solving"

By Pop-up casket (talk); original by User:Fool (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
It is interesting how most of us only approach God only when we have exhausted everything we know how to do. Instead of making God our partner in life, we try our own hand at troubleshooting. We spend our mental, emotional and physical energies in a process of trial and error with the limited information we know. Our left brains are highly effective at organizing ideas and detail but cannot appropriately orient the ideas in the larger context. Effective problem solving requires the whole brain.

When we praise God with singing, we engage our whole being not just the mind. Singing allows the left-brain to relax. The rigid structured nature of the analytical mind is critical to our functioning, but it must never be at “the head” of the process. When the overworked analytical intellect is balance with the right brain (blow trumpets at the new moon), it is able to discern spiritual truths and make its conclusions based on them. It is critical that when we find ourselves in times of trouble that we focus the mind on Divine guidance.

In distress, we call out for Divine intervention and God rescues us, freeing the mind of the burden of figuring out all of the details of what to do to solve the problem. The challenge of waiting on the Lord is that the answers do not typically appear in a way we understand. We complain and doubt God’s work when everything is not resolved quickly (tested at Meribah). Our thoughts begin to wander from God to other supposed “problem solvers,” particularly the intellect (strange, foreign god). When the resolution we want does not appear quickly, we resort to our own ways. We manipulate, force, and coerce external conditions in an attempt to control our environment. We allow our minds to go back to worshipping the false idols of sex, money and intellect. The result is pain and suffering. Only Spirit can deliver us from the challenges we face and fulfill us.

If our thoughts were God-centered instead of self-centered, we would be delivered. It is not a matter of us eradicating the problem on our own, rather it is through focus on the Spiritual that we can glimpse truths with clarity. All of our needs and wants (appetites) can be satiated with God. It is amazing that once we release the need to “solve” a problem and let God handle it how effortlessly the details of our lives are resolved.

And so it is! Amen!