Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Age of Miracles

Patheos blogger Rebecca Hamilton writes about a miracle story here.  Most of the non-faithful will simply write it off as a delusion or an as-of-yet undiscovered scientific explanation.  The faith of the non-religious in science is unwavering.

But the thing about these stories is that they happen all the time.  They really do.  I open my Facebook or RSS feed and everyday I get a story like this.  Sometimes they are the same story for about two or three days.  Sometimes they are really similar such that I wonder if one is a riff of of another.  By and large there are so many of these stories that I find it next to impossible to dismiss them as coincidental.

I say next to impossible because being a natural skeptic I have to force myself to check my unreasonable bias against such stories.  When I'm actually thinking it is impossible to come to any other conclusion that there is a God and He seems interested in us.  But critical thinking even when useful leads to bad mental habits of doubting something simply because it doesn't mesh with one's experience.

In the past I would wonder why God would not perform miracles for the "unbeliever."  It seemed to me at the time the most rational thing for Him to do.  Empirical evidence and all that.

The thing I've learned over time however is that humans are not rational by nature.  In fact it requires a great of mental discipline to actually think properly.  Most people are emotional first, then use tortured reasoning to back up the emotion.  It takes time and discipline of both emotion and reason to gear our senses toward the truth.  And it is a daily struggle.

With this in mind I remember the story of Jesus visiting His hometown and would not perform a miracle due to their unbelief.  Now I see that it wouldn't matter.  The human mind is ultimately governed by the will.  And the will can and does override what should be the natural reasoning process.  If we are not careful we can put ourselves in a position where nothing could make us change our minds.

It is a wonder that we live in such an Age of Miracles and yet we try to pretend as if we do not.  There is wonder all around us.  But we choose to live the life of a false narrative.  Ultimately this is due not to reason or empirical evidence, but the fact that we are afraid of the cost of changing our minds.

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