Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Emotions- Can we chuck them all into a cupboard?

If only there is a cupboard big enough. My life shall therefore, be trouble-free...or so I thought.

The thematic talk by Rev. Stephen Tong on Christianity and Emotions, opened a funny door to my wandering thoughts, even before he started on the subject.
He gave a refreshing outlook of Psalm 84, using Mount Zion as his picturesque backdrop-

"Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
Every one of them appears before God in Zion."
Psalm 84 :5-7

I believe each and everyone who was there left with a personal message of his sermon. While he also spoke of the inability of Man to depend on anything on this earth,- not wealth, friends, family and after the tsunami, not even the grounds that we are walking on; I left, thinking about the emotions that played around with the verses.

Have I set my own heart on pilgrimage as how the psalmist has said?
"Is this real? Is this real? Is God and everything He does in my life real?" My tugging heart kept asking.

Then, reading Uncle Jon Edwards' article on religious affections made me think further (digging my own grave perhaps?)

Being in a true religion has so much to do with the heart.
Unc Jon in his effortless way of complicating his explanation and me in my futile attempts, trying to grasp the idea of it, said: "There are some exercises of pleasedness or displeasedness, inclination or disinclination, wherein the soul is carried but a little beyond the state of indifference. — And there are other degrees above this, wherein the approbation or dislike, pleasedness or aversion, are stronger, wherein we may rise higher and higher, till the soul comes to act vigorously and sensibly, and the actings of the soul are with that strength, that (through the laws of the union which the Creator has fixed between the soul and the body) the motion of the blood and animal spirits begins to be sensibly altered; whence oftentimes arises some bodily sensation, especially about the heart and vitals, that are the fountain of the fluids of the body; from whence it comes to pass, that the mind, with regard to the exercises of this faculty, perhaps in all nations and ages, is called the heart. And it is to be noted, that they are these more vigorous and sensible exercises of this faculty that are called the affections."

How God uses the heart!
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy might.” Deut :4-5

I thought of the people who are persistent in denying the existence of God, and those who reject God as Creator, moreover the One who gives us a heart, and tugging it sometimes.
How Man can possess this consciousness, this tugging of the heart if something that displeases him occur or that inclination, that affections, that indescribable funny feeling that he has which messes with his guts; without Design, without the ONE IMAGE who possesses the very heart of Consciousness?- I wonder.

The one point I got this far is that, one cannot truly has any religion at all if the heart is not in it.
And how could there be any religion or beliefs at all,even if we claim that we put our hearts to it, if we reject even the very core existence of the very One who gives us our hearts, and make our emotions so real?

Even as I ponder over this, I was struck by how emotions do not consist only of joy and love but also of grief, hatred and jealousy.
Are they real as well?

"And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He grieved in His heart."-Genesis 6:6

"When Jesus heard it( the death of his beloved cousin John the Baptist), He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself." -Matthew 14:13

How real it is that even God has a a tugging in His heart, and that He, too grieved.

The point, that I am trying to make, rather unarticulately is that,
God has made emotions for us so real, for He possesses this nature and since we are made according to His image, emotions, too are very, very real to us.

Thus, a so-called life for His glory without any emotions in it, would be nothing.
A life with consciousness of the emotions we have but with no God in it, is also nothing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Yennie.

Not one for really talking about emotions, but I recall reading an interesting book from James Dobson. I think the title was "Emotions: Can We Trust Them?"

Worth a read, that is, if you haven't chucked all your emotions in the cupboard already.

Big Bro

1:32 AM  

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