{impressions} math and the heart

Friday, July 26, 2013

BH and I had impromptu date night tonight. We ended up going out to get ice cream cones at the Dairy Delight and taking a lovely summer eve's drive up the canyon near our home. We had lovely conversations about things like science and religion. It seems like we can't have a conversation about one without the other creeping in. We are big believers that they are complimentary and go hand in hand as both are ways of discovering how the world works.

I was thinking about math and why it's so hard to explain to people how you know something spiritual, like the little pieces of your testimony. Like if you take the Pythagorean Theorem for instance. I am not a spiffy mathematician like Pythagoras. I can't reproduce the mathematical study and research he did to discover that the sum of the square of two sides of a right triangle equals the square of the length of the longest side. But I can still tell you that it's true.

And not just that I believe it to be true, but that I know it is true. The proof is in the application. Having used it to solve countless math problems in my years, I can tell you that it works. I can show you that it works for me, even if I don't understand all the reasons why it works. It's the same for spiritual matters. I know that God loves us, not just believe, but know. It started out as faith, but after the practical application of that principle and seeing how it works in every day of my life, I count it as knowledge. For me, I know.

However, I didn't always know that Pythagoras's ideas were solid. I had to have faith until I understood. And there was nothing wrong with that, in fact that's how it's supposed to be. You see, my junior high geometry teacher had taught me a bunch of other things that turned out to work pretty good in practical application. By the time we got around to right triangles I had pretty good trust in my teacher that she knew what was up in the world of math. So when she popped  a (squared) plus b (squared) equals c (squared) up on the board, I believed her from faith. I didn't know what it was, how to use it, or how it worked, but I could still have faith that it was a true principle. It wasn't blind faith because her knowledge had proven to be sound in many instances before, so there was a solid foundation to my faith in math.

The same can be true of spiritual matters. There are things that I don't understand, a lot of them actually. But even though I don't understand how they work or why they are there, I can still have faith in them because their source has been proven to me. And after their application has proven their correctness, i can still know them even if i don't know all of the why or how.

Sometimes in our conversations we give or are given the expectation that we have to prove the validity of our point by having all the answers to the why and hows. Those answers can certainly increase understanding and make it easier to convince others, but the proof is in the application; "by their fruits ye shall know them". The truth is the truth whether we completely understand it or not. We don't have to completely understand it before it becomes true. So I'm going to start having a little more confidence in sharing what I know and be less apprehensive in stating what I have faith in. After all, isn't all knowledge, both scientific and spiritual gained by faith and practical application.

We are made to be dynamic people. We were given minds and hearts and spirits, all of which can find truth. So the next time your heart or spirit knows something that your mind doesn't understand, don't apologize for it. Just love it and hold on to it and one day we'll learn all the whys and hows. But for know knowing that it works is good enough.

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  1. Love this. Especially that last paragraph. I firmly believe we are spiritual beings and that those spirits of ours often recognize truths long before our brain does. Too frequently we sell ourselves b short by feeling we are being naive or by not grabbing onto those things at all.


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