Despite All Logic, God Still Loves Me - By Pastor Thomas Engel

After a decision, we say, “That makes sense to me,” or we say, “Yea, I’m feeling it.”

When making a decision, we tend to go more to the side of logic or more to the side of emotion.

The side that we tend to go to depends a lot on our personality-type.

To say, even as we have a certain personality that is unique to us-if we want to make the best of ideas, we might have to give up some to add some.

If we are more on the side of logic, we might have to put our hearts out on our sleeves to make a more emotional decision.

And if we are more on the side of emotions, we might have to admit that using our heads instead of our guts is right for that decision.

My personality type is more on the touchy-feely side, so if I have to move to the logical side, I have to have a long talk with my emotions to tell them that they will be okay.

So, making the best decisions is to look at situations from many different angles.

When it comes to problem solving, we can ask, “For this time, what’s does the recipe for this stew of a decision call for?”

There is never an exact formula for life because we live with so many variables.

In all of our decisions, we can listen, do our research, look at data, find what the experts are saying, do a survey, ask questions, and stand in the place of others to feel and think what they are feeling and thinking.

So, if we have all these ingredients like critical thinking and empathy, and then, agreeing on the right amounts of things to put into the mix, why is the world so chaotic and our lives so messy at times?

To throw out an insight to the reason that things don’t mix right for us is that humans can be in one word, “stubborn.”

We have to admit at times that we can be both hard-headed and hard-hearted.

In our situations, we can get stuck in our thoughts and feelings, and even for the good of ourselves-we won’t budge.

Like a person like myself who finds he has an ache or a pain, but he won’t go to the doctor because he doesn’t want anyone telling him what to do.

Our egos can sure get the best of us, and we can be our own worst enemies.

It’s a real chore to try to keep figuring things out, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong-we need to keep trying, but on a human level-we are far from fixing the human condition.

It seems that we do get close at times, but then, we see another outburst of some horrific event in the world and another trial pops into our lives.

If you don’t mind, let’s go back a couple thousand years to a man who had trouble figuring out things, too.

Nicodemus was a religious leader of Jesus’ day. Talk about logic, he had a ton of it, and for feelings, I think he had some compassion about him, too.

To fast forward here, while other Pharisees conspired to kill Jesus and who felt accomplished when they did, it was this Pharisee, Nicodemus, who gave the aloes and spices to anoint Jesus’ body after his death on the cross.

So, this talk that we are about to get into that he had with Jesus must of had an effect on him.

At this first meeting with Jesus, Nicodemus was trying to see who Jesus was. Jesus caught his attention by the miracles that he was doing.

These signs of Jesus were catching a lot of people’s attention.

But, Nicodemus was not like other religious leaders who wanted to trap Jesus as a fraud. He sincerely wanted to know if Jesus did come from God.

So, to avoid a possible clash with his peers, Nicodemus, under the cover of the dark of night, went to Jesus to ask him some questions.

Nicodemus wanted a one-on-one talk with Jesus to get to the bottom of some important matters.

Jesus gave answers that flew over Nicodemus’ head.

Even for a spiritual leader, Nicodemus thought too much with his head and not enough with a mind and a heart that was open to the mysteries of faith.

At a human level, we understand the physical birth process, but at that same human level, we can never understand what it means to be born again to a life of faith.

When Jesus was talking about how a person is to be born again, Jesus was talking about baptism.

And for us, Lutherans, we get serious when it comes to baptism, for we know what happened when we were baptized-a whole new spiritual life began for us.

And it’s in this new life that we go about our lives, not as people of the world, but as children of a heavenly Father.

Our second birth by baptism is mostly incomprehensible to the human mind and heart.

We understand our first birth on a certain date that gave us physical life, and we celebrate our days of birth-“birthdays.”

With summer coming up, we have a lot birthdays coming up in my family.

On my budget, over the next months, I’m constantly going to one of those dollar stores to buy gifts.

Then, our second birth is on a certain date when we were baptized that gives us a new life in all things that come from God.

It’s in this second birth that we find wisdom, faith, and love from our God.

There is nothing in this world like this wisdom, faith, and love from God.

Here, it’s were I get a headache because I want to use words to tell you and to myself how this wisdom, faith, and love from our God works in our lives, but words, for the most part, fail to show us the depth of what God gives us.

Recently, I read a poem by William Carlos Williams. It’s a love poem, but as a love poem, it’s awful.

William Carlos Williams meant for it to be an awful love poem. He wants to show when a person deeply loves someone how it’s difficult to find the words to tell about that deep love.

The speaker in the poem imagines an apple tree in the spring when it’s in full bloom with its white blossoms.

Using the tree as a metaphor to describe how he sees his lover, he wants to share how he thinks she is so beautiful.

He begins the poem by saying his lover’s leg is like the trunk of the tree.

I’m sure most women don’t want their legs compared to a trunk of any tree.

To make a short analysis of the poem, William Carlos Williams is showing the frustration of how when using words to tell of something deep like love fall short.

Words after words can’t show us all that we have from God.

Human logic and emotions can’t grasp all that God has for us.