Monday, August 10, 2009

Oh, stuff

Today was the first real day of work, starting on my senior research project for Lockheed Martin. I can't really say anything about what I'm doing, other than I'm continuing the research that David Kasper did in writing a program that will help the productivity of Lockheed's researchers. I'm working with Dr. Geisler, which is a huge bonus (a good reason I wanted this project!). It's a little sad coming into the project so late, but I'm here now, and my summer was very worthwhile anyways.

I've been wondering lately what role emotion plays in the Christian faith. You have the old Baptist vs Charismatic debate, where Charismatics uphold spiritual gifts and emphasize very emotional experiences, but Baptists argue more for a more rational (yet more boring) faith. I think there's plenty of room for both, and taking it to either extreme is dangerous. I've been told (and still believe) that you can have a strong faith without the "feel good" emotions, because sometimes your hormones will lie to you, but I do also believe that God can and does speak to you through emotional experiences.

One main area where this applies is my trip this summer to South America. Yes, I felt led in a very emotional experience to devote my summer to overseas missions, and God definitely provided a way for this to happen. But my trip was a very unordinary one...I didn't preach to people on the street or play with orphans or help build churches. Instead, I fixed computers. It's pretty much my life when I'm not in another country, but it was still very different. Anyways, my experience was not life-changing in the sense of being a completely new person now that I've gone. I'm still the same person, I'm back in Upland doing the same things I was doing last summer, and I'm getting back into the old routine. I'm not one of those people who's totally on fire about missions and can't wait to tell everyone. Yes, I did have a wonderful experience, and yes, I'm fully confident that it was God's will for me to go and that he plans for me to go overseas again, but I'm not all emotional about it.

Is this a bad thing, or is it natural? My attitude toward it is basically, I'll listen to where God wants me to go, and I'll follow him wherever he leads me, but I'm not particularly excitable about all the awe-inspiring and amazing things that I "see" God doing. I want to serve God and serve others by obeying him and going where he sends me; is it really a sin to not be so emotional about it?

No comments: