Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.
I often say that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. You may be surprised, but this philosophy is even relevant to how we use our smarts.
I think easily with questions because I’m very logic smart. Analyzing and comparing come naturally to me. I want things to make sense. To me.
When people or things disappoint or confuse me, I think a lot about the situation. I can get stuck. Frustrated. Even angry if solutions don’t come to mind. I’m sure you’ve heard of the “paralysis of analysis.” That used to describe me. Past tense.
Have you wrestled with questions regarding the horrible tornadoes of this week? There’s nothing wrong with asking.
Why did so many people, including children, have to die?
What are all those people going to do now?
How long will it take to rebuild? Will they have the money?
Will teachers and the schools ever really recover?
Why doesn’t the “paralysis of analysis” describe me anymore? Why don’t I need to be able to answer questions like these?
I’ve learned to recognize when I’m stuck and I refuse to stay there long. It’s not healthy and it’s not helpful.
Sometimes safe colleagues and friends point out the paralysis to me. That helps. They lovingly challenge me to move on, trust God, and make a decision if the paralysis involves a personal issue.
But, the real change occurred when I saw my sin. Sin? Yes. Isn’t it often the problem?
Ultimately, trying to figure out everything is prideful. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and the God of the Bible, I have to choose to remember He is in charge. Nothing surprises Him. He allows everything. He gets the big picture and I have to choose to trust Him with that. Sometimes, it’s a daily decision. Or, like this week, almost an hour by hour decision.
There’s nothing wrong with asking big questions of God. He can handle it and He loves it when we’re honest with Him. Job, a Bible hero who asked many, many questions as he tried to discern why he was suffering so much loss eventually concluded:
“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are His.” Job 12:13
“How great is God—beyond our understanding!” Job 36:26
“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.” Job 37:5
The Prophet Isaiah also reminds us, in Isaiah 40:28 that “God’s understanding no one can fathom.”
Trauma isn’t the only thing that can’t be fully understood. I’m grateful for God’s peace:
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
I’d often prefer to understand. I’m grateful I believe.