Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The question was asked, What is it that I can possibly control?

The answer was given, my attitude.

A second answer given was driving my car.

One of Newton's Laws is, 'an object set in motion remains in motion until met by an equal or greater opposing force'. There is a subsequent reaction. A friend of mine has mentioned on numerous occasions that when he has hit his finger with a hammer, his first reaction is not 'Praise God'. It should be obvious, but may bear mentioning, that it was not his intent to smack his finger with the hammer. It was an uncontrollable circumstance of an otherwise intended action.

It follows that the 'I cans' that I will do, or wish to do, have a consequence which is still indeterminate from the intent of the original action. It is in this vane of thought that I believe the speaker was leading. We have marginal control of our lives, and even in the area of attitude that control remains as a result of circumstance and situation determined by the actions of others, reacting to others etc., etc.

We at some point in life come to the realization that life is comprised of 95% of things that happen to us and our reaction and only 5% of those things that we do by determined action. It really narrows and changes the focus. The philosophical bent of the conversation as it turned was destructive in the intent of the speaker's point, that being, as leaders we can only act within the parameters of God-given authority and never at odds to His sovereign power in which God either limits or allows the occurrences of the bad or the blessing and these limitations and allowances are determined by Him.

What we as people, and especially people of God, expect, is that the 'good' we would achieve is a mandated right or perogative because we are doing the service of the King. There lies in our thought no expectation of the black swans. The black swans are the exceptions in life, those occurrences of the unanticipated that blow away all predetermined expectations of result. These are the Albinos that show up as a result of the genetic glitches that seldom and randomly appear. These events refute the logic of inductive reasoning, the assumption that since every swan I have ever seen is white, then all swans must be white.
A definition of a black Swan is this :
First, it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility.
Second, it carries an extreme impact, it destroys a pattern of formed logic which provides security for prediction, expectation, faith and hope.
Third, in spite of its unanticipated status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable. We tend to downplay the unanswerable aspects of expectation and faith and hope with arguments which justify, by carefully crafted explanation, the answer to the question, Why I did not receive this promise, this healing. this ______
Black Swans create a disjoint between what we know and what we think we know. Black Swans come from beyond our epistemic horizons.
They attack at our knowledge base as it relates to our perception of the cognitive reality in which we live. This disjoint is fueled not by the distortions (i.e. black swans) but by the reasoning that makes us overconfident in our pronouncements and expectations about the future, about life, about faith, about...
There are three important features highlighted:
There is an illusion of understanding, everyone thinks he knows what is going on in a world that is more complicated (or random) than they realize;
There is a retrospective distortion, we can assess matters only after the fact, as if they were in a rearview mirror (history seems clearer and more organized in history books than in empirical reality); and
There is an overvaluation of factual information and the handicap created by authoritative and learned people, particularly when they create categories and metaphors (Pavlov's Bell scenarios)..." This becomes even more evident when we attempt to put God into the box of determined query and response, 'I believe ... therefore..."

Life as we live it may only 'make sense' after the fact, we may realize only after the fact 'what God is up to'... maybe then we will understand praise and gratitude, possibly pain and suffering... look at the after effects of some of the most poignant, painful, revelatory and historical events in the Bible.

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