Back of the North Wind

Discussions of theology, philosophy, religion and life inspired by the writings of George MacDonald (and perhaps others such as CS Lewis) posted by "recovering fundamentalists".

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Location: California, United States

I am a "recovering fundamentalist". The trick is to figure out how not to throw out the Baby with the bathwater. I learn through dialogue, and so invite commentary on my posts to Back of the North Wind.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Result of the Experiment

prof rob and I agreed to try an experiment for 24 hours, based on the George MacDonald "obedience" motif:

a) do what we already know to be right, and
b) associate those actions as "obedience to God".

This has certainly been educational, and I'll continue to think more about what has happened today. But some initial thoughts:

* I woke up earlier and with a sense of "mission" for the day. This was certainly a positive effect!

* As I started my daily routine, it occurred to me that instead of turning on the radio, as I normally do, I ought to spend the morning in more of a silent mode. First conscious decision. There's a little background, here. I'm a political entertainment addict, so turning off the radio is tough. I don't actually want to go into politics on this blog---there are plenty of other places in the blogosphere for that. So I spent the morning (and other alone times during the day) in silence. But failed later in the evening (see below).

* The hard parts of this assignment were:
1) controlling what I think about (I can't really)
2) trying to do the "association" part of the assignment, item (b) above, and
3) walking into the workplace and trying to remember the assignment at all during my workday.

* I had almost to have a little mantra throughout the day to remind myself of the assigment: "Do what you already know is right to do"

* There was a sense of "autopilot" for most of the day, and I think this may be something significant I take away from the experiment: a real sense of "choice" doesn't seem to come along that often. Much of what I do seems to be controlled by other choices I've already made. So one has to pay more attention to those choices that take away choice down the road. Things like career, or what kind of car you choose to drive: you can't easily change those choices on a day-by-day basis.

* I failed this evening: I watched the Vice Presidential debate. Not that there's anything wrong with watching the debate. But it was not the best use of me for that evening. I should have paid more attention to my kids. I really only watched it because I enjoy the political entertainment, not because I was trying to become a more educated voter.

That failure was a case where I obeyed the first part of what I knew was right to do (spend a day in relative silence without the radio or the "visual noise" of political blogs) and learned what else I had to do: skip a political debate and spend more time with my kids. I wonder, if I had done the right thing, would I have learned something else good to do?