Jul. 20, 2016

Digging Deeper

I have a boss that loves personal assessments. I’ve grown accustomed to them since I worked in mental health for so long and went through the United Methodist Church Candidacy Process. I’ve probably been dissected and examined more than most frogs in a biology class. It doesn’t bother me. Oh, some of the issues that are revealed about myself bother me. I don’t like to hear about my personal weaknesses, but I need to know them. Unless we are willing to admit what is wrong, we cannot grow and become a better person.

Our most recent work-related assessment was administered by San Jacinto College and was a tool entitled, “Neethling Brain Profile.” Yep, I had my brain profiled. It was an attempt to “discover my whole brain,” which is interesting because I feel like I’ve lost my mind most of the time.

The profile helps us understand how we prefer to think, communicate, problem solve, make decisions, create, strategize and how we lead. Sounds interesting, huh? It is but requires self-examination. Self-examination is not for the faint of heart.

Here is what the professionals discovered. I am predominately Left Brain; Quadrant 1. What does that mean? Glad you asked. I prefer accuracy. I want to dig deeper into a problem before finding a solution. I am precise, exact, and focused. (Are you surprised by any of this?) I base decisions on factual reasoning and take a no-nonsense approach. I can remain objective. I provide information with no hidden meanings (you call that, “blunt” if I irritate you and “transparent, if I don’t). I am a critical thinker, which does not mean I think to criticize. It means I have a tendency to over-think. I prefer not to make mistakes, but I do and I have to accept other people are not perfect either. I am goal oriented, prefer reality, need the facts and nothing but the facts. In fact, facts are fundamentally important in my communication and decision-making. Factual memory takes priority when I sort through issues. I am an analyst.

I wanted you to hear all of this about me before I explain the two pictures I am sharing with this blog. I lost a friend this week. Over politics. I lost a friend NOT because my friend was upset with me, but because I cannot live in a world where important decisions are made according to likes and dislikes. I can’t mask hate or gossip under the title of “politics.” Remember, I prefer accuracy and I am always going to dig deeper.

Case in point: in one of these pictures, President Bush bowed his head to pray. In another picture, he did not bow his head. The opposite is true of President Obama. In one picture he looks up in prayer and in the other, he bows his head. These two men literally think and act quite the opposite. I am certain that does not surprise you.

Yet, some of my Republican friends only posted the picture where Bush was bowing and Obama was looking up with a caption that read: “Here is the difference between humility and arrogance.”  Really?

I just want to make sure I understand: we aren’t supposed to look up when we pray? There’s a problem with that answer, because I do. Not all the time, but I do sometimes; mostly during corporate worship. I look up because I believe God is up. He is above me. He is looking down on us. I even raise my hands while looking up. Some Jewish worshippers do the same thing. They look up to Heaven and hold their hands out in anticipation knowing they will receive an answer from God.

Am I arrogant? Am I breaking the rules of prayer? Are there really rules to prayer that say you must bow your head?

Please don’t shut me out saying, “She is an Obama lover.” I didn’t vote for Barak Obama, but I am not an Obama hater. Is it written somewhere that I, as a Believer, am supposed to hate him? I can’t seem to find it in Scripture. Does God give me permission to form my opinion on one of His children based on half-truths and Christian slander? Please, enlighten me.

Please allow me to be blunt. After all, that’s something I do very well – let’s grow up as Christians. We need to be in our best form if we plan on representing Christ. Can we just admit we don’t like the other side of the aisle and drop it with that? Is there any reason we don’t trust people to decide for themselves? If they do and it doesn’t match what we think, does that really make them wrong? If they are wrong, is it okay if God takes care of that for us?

Or here is a better idea: DIG DEEPER.

I’m going to end this now so that I can take time to pray for our country and the next Presidential election. And, I just might choose to look up while I pray.