“Thoroughly worldly people never understand even the world, they rely altogether on a few cynical maxims which are not true.” –G.K. Chesterton
Isn't it sad that most "teenagers" cannot reason and think for themselves? They are told what to believe and are not taught to question anything. Questioning can be good and beneficial, for it is through questioning that we strengthen our beliefs because we really believe it. Truths that we have always been told are true, become the Truth we cling to and are willing to die for, because we have been fully convinced that it is True.
Have I lost you already?
I am one of those young people who thinks thinking is fun. My parents have trained my to reason and to question, and to read good books which encourage me to do so. I am in the process of reading G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Some of my friends tell me that I overthink and overanalyze, but I am not convinced that is true. I am more inclined to believe that they do not think enough. In the book of Isaiah the LORD says, "Come, let us reason together."
Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
1Peter 1:13 "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"
1Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
It is much easier for Satan to devour those who do not think, who are not reasoning and sober. If you merely float through life, accepting what comes to you (no matter the source), you will be easily devoured, without yourself even noticing.
The public school is certainly not a place where children are encouraged to really reason and think. They know the "facts," but not all sides of the story or the reasoning behind it. They are taught and trained what to think and how to think it. Their minds are infiltrated on every side by lies and partial truths (read: lies) and they accept them, because, they're in school to learn, right? And yet, as the quote at the beginning of this post argues, they do not even understand the worldly mindset in which they are believing.
Instead of putting me into this environment, where my mind powers are dulled (as opposed to being sharpened as some advocates of this system would argue) my parents have chosen to educate and disciple me at home, where I am free to think and reason and question.
Today my reasoning is expanding, so that which I believe to be unreasonable is becoming more reasonable, and wording that is considered quite boggling, is almost understandable. There's much to be said for reading things that most adults would consider confusing, and sifting my way through it, which does take brain exercise. For how can I become wise if I never go outside the limits of what I comprehend already? And how I can I seek to understand what is really worth understanding, if I do not seek to understand what I do not understand?
And yet, if I cling to reason alone, then I will go insane. For reason itself is constrained in a very small, unexpandable circle. Though my reasoning may make perfect sense, the fact that everything makes sense would drive me crazy, because that would make me self-sufficient. There are things that I believe that are not strictly "reasonable".
1Corinthians 1:18-25 says, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
Here's another quote from Orthodoxy: "For the circle [of reason] is perfect and infinite in its nature, but it is fixed forever in its size; it can never be larger or smaller. But the cross, though it has at its heart a collision and a contradiction, can extend its four arms forever without altering its shape. Because it has a paradox at its center, it can grow without changing, The circle returns to itself and is bound. The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travellers."
Now, I am sorry if I have not made complete sense in this post (I still have a long way to go in my reasoning skills:) but I do not apologize if you think it unclear because you only skimmed over it. In order to really learn from something, you must stop and think, really think and meditate, and it is then that the eyes of your understanding are opened.
"The one created thing which we cannot look at is the one thing in the light of which we look at everything."
Open our eyes, Lord, that we may see! Open our minds, so that we may comprehend more of how wonderful You are. The Cross is both unreasonable and true, and it is the center of our faith. Even though there are things we cannot completely understand, that doesn't mean we don't trust You, Father, but that we are excited to spend the rest of our lives seeking out Your incomprehensibility.
"The way we are going to think tomorrow depends largely on what we are thinking today." -Brown
If you found this post very dull, I would have to concur with what G.K. Chesterton said:
"Dulness will, however, free me from the charge I most lament; the charge of being flippant."