As we journey this life, so many things happen. There can be many losses. There are often many hurts. Things anger us. We get confused. We try to make sense of all that happens in our lives so that we can respond and interact. As time passes and new events occur, what we believe experientially and what we feel gets compounded. After a while, we simply react to what is going on without reasoning it out because our life-long experiences and beliefs get tangled up and pulled into the present situations.
If you are finding yourself reacting, perhaps it is time for you to change from living to questing. A quest is an intentional process of seeking something and exerting energy, time and effort doing so. In medieval times, a knight would put on his armor, mount his war horse and go on a physical journey through many dangers in search of something. What he sought could be a person, place, thing, truth or state of mind. What I am suggesting, is that you begin a quest for truth. The process will be to seek in your heart’s core what you believe experientially and battle through it with the Lord’s help. The consequence of making the effort and not giving up is a life of peace and joy.
All human beings have two sets of beliefs called belief systems. One belief system is based on what we learn from books and in school, or from reading, listening to the radio and watching TV. Those of us who are Christians can add Biblical knowledge to that set. That is what we know in our minds. We can think about it, analyze it, debate it, and choose whether we want to believe it or not. The second belief system is experience based. It usually has an emotional component to it.
When we are living our lives, we live out of both belief systems. When we are calm or at peace, we live out of the logical belief system. We can order our world and reason things out. This belief system is not reactive. Instead it is a system upon which we act and make decisions. It is logical by nature. When we are feeling positive healthy emotions, we experience enjoyment and have the capacity to live in the logical mind and connect to the enjoyment of what we are experiencing.
When we feel negative emotions or emotions that drive us, something different happens to us. Our logical, thinking, reasoning mind shuts down and our emotional experiential reactive belief system kicks into high gear. We are ready for fight or flight depending on how our mind interprets the danger it feels. We have experienced something in the past that makes that part of our mind rear up to protect our heart. This is a good thing if the danger is real. But the brain cannot tell the difference between real danger and perceived danger. Real danger occurs when we are being attacked or something bad is happening to us. Perceived danger is the perception or belief that I might be in danger based on what I once experienced and not on what is happening right now.
If we go on a quest to bring our heart and mind into synchronized belief, we need to make a deliberate choice to follow that path all the way through. It takes determination. It also means that we must battle our demons (literally). Why? Demons like to attach to belief systems that are not in line with the scriptures. In the process of our experiencing bad things, we may conclude something that is not the truth because we do not always have the truth to work with when we are trying to make sense of events, especially in childhood. Sometimes people lie to us and always, demons will lie to try to trick us to believe something false. When we take in lie based beliefs, what happens? Lie based beliefs attached to pain of any form will bind us to the demonic and will keep the pain alive long after the event could be forgotten. In fact, if it is painful enough, we will bury it because we don’t want to remember. The trouble with that is that the source of the lie is buried as well and cannot be corrected without a lot of digging and help from the Lord. At the same time, we will continue to have the emotion and reactions from it.
The purpose of launching yourself on this type of quest is to bring truth into your experience of the event so that the only emotion left is peace and joy. Then your heart and head can agree and you will no longer be reactive. You will be able to reason and see things God’s way. That is powerful. That is mind renewal. We are called to have the mind of Christ in us always. This is a lifelong quest to achieve that. It brings peace and freedom.
If everyone were on this quest, there would be fewer protests and violence and we would be able to think of far better more productive solutions for our lives and nation. Those of us who are followers of Christ can be an example to others.
God, bless you all,