“How do I feel about how I spent this day?”
Currently, I feel perturbed how ego-centric this question is. Of course, I know that the world is not about me. My mind exists almost exclusively inside of my skull so that the thoughts and memories I have seem to have originated with me, the preferences and feelings I have seem to be only mine. But, every other person in existence is just as aware as me. So each moment, all of our consciences are being told by what is happening to them that this world is about them… us… me. But it isn’t. This world is about the Creator of this world who is much bigger than this world and whose ways are much grander than our ways.
So, should I continue asking myself this question, why or why not?
Here’s my thoughts: this question allows for reflection and externalizing. And in externalizing I process the feelings I have and put them forth for accountability, that is for external scrutiny, either for myself or for another. (Isn’t it crazy to think that the other reading this is simply a computer? How very different from a human would that be? What does it mean to image God? To be in the image of God?) Ultimately, although there is intrinsic risk in externalizing, because it is vulnerable and revealing, it is worth the risk because it is the means of self-examination which is pivotal in dodging self deceit.
On the other hand, maybe externalizing my feelings is placing to high a value on my feelings. Of course in a post-modern culture, we think with our feelings so I are really asking what do I think about the moral value of how I spent my day in light of my current convictions and beliefs, but even that may be placing to high a value on human thought. Because, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25. It’s in there twice.
I just determined to write, “for now, all I have is reason…” and I was going to go on to say therefore I should continue to answer that question M-F as I am able. Before I could finish writing the sentence, I remember a critique brought against those of Baptist faith:
we are too committed to rational theology; we miss out on perceptive theology. If memory serves, it was in relationship to soteriology and our preference for formulations of salvation which in the critics mind was a shortcoming. I don’t think it is a short coming to be rational, because while I acknowledge that there is experiential non-rational trustworthy knowledge, it is not the normative form by which knowledge comes or is shared. Furthermore, checking experiences which lend themselves to the non-rational by examining their consistency with open minded rational thought is a good way to prevent fanaticism or blind faith.
So, just as I previously, determined… for now, all I have is reason (and all the non-rational experiences that make up my self-identity and history), so it is good to rest on it and record my feelings about each day in hopes of self-examination (and possible peer/accountability partner examination).
How do I feel about how I spent April 21, 2017?